A God Kind of Wisdom

Over the weekend, I explored with my students the ideas expressed in James 3:13-18 of “wisdom.” Isn’t interesting how the writer James turns on its head our ideas of being wise, smart, intelligent, and SUCCESSFUL. In our day, success has been directly linked to wisdom. The better a business or the bigger a church or the stronger a government, the more we think that such a place is wise. Indeed, such things are successful in this world’s system. Bigger, better, and faster are the ways of this world. To succeed in this world, you must be big and fast and better than the next guy. Godly wisdom was not designed for such a world. Godly wisdom has in mind another world– a place where the the Lord’s will is done on Earth as it is in heaven. This wisdom heals people– it is peace filled, mercy filled, considerate filled, submissive filled, humility filled, etc. It doesn’t necessarily lead towards riches, glory, possessions, place, and power. It does not seek to make you successful for this world, but for another world. However, let’s not make the mistake to think that this other world is the world of heaven. Indeed to quote the Lord’s prayer again, “May your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” The goal is to make this Earth, this place we reside, into that other world. That world cannot happen by force like some Christians view the Second Coming. That would be worldly wisdom or this current worlds idea of bringing order. That is about having more power than the other guy. Indeed, if we listen to James and if we listen to Jesus, this world will change because of the power of God’s story– the one that says that humility and love is better than power and violence.

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