James 3:13 – Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
As you begin to read the third chapter of James’ letter to the church, you read of comparing the gentleness of God’s wisdom to bitter jealousy and selfish ambition of the heart. The old nature can easily become filled with jealousy and selfish ambition. Both jealousy and ambition are products of the sin nature and represent the old self. They are focused on self-serving as opposed to serving others. Certainly this is a great contrast to the life of Christ, which was filled with gentle wisdom as He served the needs of others around Him.
Through faith in the power of Christ’s resurrection and His life-giving Spirit we too can be filled with gentle wisdom. Conversion, as it relates to Christianity, is about drawing our life from Christ’s life which has been given to the believer by the Holy Spirit. Many Christians continue to live from the old life and habits rather than the new life contained in the new birth. Jealousy and selfish bitterness can be entangled with many other sins. The danger of these sins is that they create arrogance and lies. The world system is filled with this type of arrogance and deceit. The world sees this type of nature as wisdom. It is not a wisdom that comes from God. James calls it “earthly, natural, and demonic (James 3:15). Where you find jealousy and selfish ambition, you find disorder and evil.
God’s wisdom is pure. It has no hidden motives, just a desire to relate and help others. It is peaceable. It is filled with desire to produce peace in the life of believers. It is gentle. God’s wisdom seeks to help resolve problems with a gentle voice and a gentle hand. God’s wisdom is reasonable. The wisdom of God does not reason from emotions, but rather from truth. The wisdom of God is filled with mercy and good fruits. When God’s wisdom is administered and received, it is productive. God’s wisdom is neither double-minded nor filled with hypocrisy. It is unwavering in its nature and always has the best interests of others in view.
As we celebrate the birth of the “Prince of Peace,” make it your ambition to sow peace into the lives of others. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with the wisdom of God. Ask Him for the life of Christ to be manifested in all you do. Seek His life of peace, gentleness, mercy, and good fruits. Make it your ambition to be known as a person of wisdom because of your relationship with the “God of wisdom” through His Son, Jesus Christ. Develop a more intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit by listening carefully for His promptings and knowing His word through the Scriptures.
Father, I ask for the help of the Holy Spirit in drawing my life from the new birth and not the old natural life I had before Christ. I pray for Your gentle wisdom to control me and to produce good behavior that is pure and peaceable. Help me, Your servant, to be unwavering without hypocrisy in all I say and do.