James 3:17-18 – Godly Wisdom

James 3:17-18

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

It might be an over generalization but God’s wisdom is full of good qualities.  It is a contrast to man’s wisdom which is looking out for its best interests even while doing good.  Godly wisdom has qualities that are against our sinful nature.

It is no surprise that the wisdom that comes from heaven is similar to the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 

God is the source of all of these things.  As Christians we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us but we know that just having the Spirit doesn’t automatically give us these things.  Just like actual fruit, the seeds have to be planted.  They have to be tended to and nurtured and eventually they will grow.

It is the same way with wisdom.  Proverbs tells us all about wisdom but a key verse to remember is Proverbs 9:10.

10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, 
   and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Fear of the Lord means that we should proper reverence to Him.  We acknowledge His status and ours in position to Him.  Or in other words, He is God and we are not; we are far beneath Him.  This is just the beginning of wisdom though.  It takes time to grow and be nurtured into maturity.

Just like the fruit of the Spirit takes time to grow, it is the same with wisdom.  We don’t begin our lives as Christians full of wisdom.  All of the qualities that James listed in the verses above do not immediately show up in our lives at the moment of our salvation.  Christians should work to grow in these areas and the Holy Spirit will assist us in this, but it will take time.  In the end though, there is a harvest of righteousness to come from the wisdom that grows throughout the life of a believer.

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