Friday, July 26, 2013

Living Wisely in a World of Fools

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (James 3:17, NKJV, emphasis added).
We all have "sandpaper people" in our lives -- those individuals who often rub us the wrong way and bring out the worst in us.  Sometimes we call them fools because of their outlandish behavior.  In our wisdom we try to deal with them the best way we know how, but therein lies the problem:  we are relying on our wisdom instead of God's.

As I read the verse above the phrase, "willing to yield," caught my eye as never before.  This verse from James pertains to godly wisdom, something we as Christians should aspire to possess every day of our lives.  Never had I considered willingness to yield a characteristic of godly wisdom until my children became teenagers.  In light of that context perhaps the phrase, "pick your battles," has some merit after all.

One thing is for certain, I have much to learn about godly wisdom.  Based on the passage below I have not yet attained it, at least not with any consistency.  Read how Eugene Peterson translated James 3:17-18 in The Message:
"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 enjoys its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor" (emphasis added).
Holy life, getting along with others, gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings...I have a LOT of work to do.  God has a lot of work to do in me!

Consider this:  We are fools when we behave in ways that turn others from the cross of Christ and hinder His salvation of those who are lost.

Lord, give us your grace and power to live wisely in a world of fools, rather than live as fools in our world.

Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.


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