9.15.19 - Wisdom and How to Get It (Travis Derico; story by Dante Griffin)
SCRIPTURE: James 3:13-18; 4:1-12 (13-17)
As we consider what it means to put our faith into practice as part of this series, it is fitting to conclude by looking at how James teaches us to think about both: when it comes to our beliefs, James challenges all of us to be humble above all, holding our confidence in an open-hand and submitting ourselves to the work of correction and purification God is doing in our lives. And when it comes to how we interact with others, we are to refuse condemnation, recognizing that it is God who teaches us how to behave righteously and not we ourselves who are responsible for our transformation. God is working out his plans for us, and as we begin to see the fruit of this in our lives, we should let our excitement lead us, first, to thanksgiving and second, to a deeper and even more active faith.
Read James 3:13-18 together. What is the difference between “earthly wisdom” and “Godly wisdom” in these verses? How have you experienced each of these in your own life?
In various translations of verse 17, “wisdom from above” is described as being, among other things, “persuadable” (WYC), “open to reason” (RSV), or “willing to yield” (NRS). What do you think James is trying to communicate to us about what our attitude towards learning ought to be? Is this challenging for you?
In chapter 4, James says that our quarrels with one another come from our “covetous nature” (4:1-3). Does this ring true to you?
In the very next verses, James points out that God is always generous with us. How might generosity be an “antidote” for covetousness or judgmentalism?
Are you ever judgmental in your own life? When/where/against whom?
Where do you need more humility in your own attitudes/life? How can your community challenge and support you in this?