James – Thursday, March 26
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 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. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Many claim to possess wisdom and understanding. How can we know who is correct in their assertions?
The answer is in God’s word. The Bible provides tools for discernment. The bottom line is that the truly wise and understanding person lives it! He lives a good life, his deeds are humble, and are without negative traits such as envy and self-seeking ambition. It’s not about him or me or us! Such traits come from this fallen world and the devil. Envy and selfishness are what the world and devil are all about (1 John 2:15-17).
Instead, the truly wise and understanding person possesses a purity of heart and other beautiful characteristics that demonstrate that his wisdom comes from God. Only God can produce such qualities in us.
In other words, the fruit of a person’s life reveals the root of a person’s life. It’s not what a person says about himself that counts, but what he does.
Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions
1. Define “envy” and “selfish ambition.” Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart to see if either of these is operating in your life right now. If so, repent and allow Him to change your heart (Psalm 139:23-24).
2. Now define these words: pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, mercy, impartiality, and sincerity. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with Himself, that these beautiful qualities might be present in you and evident to others.