James – Dealing with sin
Growing up our family and extended family were wise guys, joking around, playing harmless pranks just to get a laugh and enjoying every minute of it. The laugh was the only goal.
Being a “wise guy” crosses the line when words are twisted to make the wise guy look better than he/she really is. James tells us the difference in a wise guy and being wise. The Message paraphrase explains it simply and completely. Read, listen, and pray for God’s wisdom and see where He leads us next.
James 3, The Message
Live Well, Live Wisely
13-16 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
17-18 Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
One more time, Developing Wisdom includes…
–Repent of our past and current sin.
–Love God. Love others.
–Read how Jesus lived and do that.
–Get along with others. No loopholes. Seek peace and resolution.
–Wisdom is gentle not loud.
–Wisdom is reasonable and consistent.
–Wisdom listens more and speaks less.
–Wisdom works hard to get along with others.
–Wisdom treats everyone with dignity and honor…above themselves…like Christ (Phil 2).
So am I wise…or just a wise guy or girl? Live well, Live wisely.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Give us wisdom, insight and understanding for each other. Your Word tells us only to ask for wisdom and You will give it, so we are asking so that we may live more holy, live well and live wisely with skills to get along with each other in ways that completely please you. But we need the help of Your Holy Spirit to guide our every thought and action. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen