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Not Walking the Line


James 3:13-18

Verse 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.


After taking some time to point out that our words also reveal the truth of our faith, James continues with his teaching that living a life of faith includes doing good things.


James, having laid out the concept that having true faith in Jesus includes having actions that reflect that, goes on to point out that knowing how to live the balance of faith and deeds requires wisdom. But he also seems to understand that not all of his readers would understand what he was saying. But do you remember one of the first things that James said in his letter? He said if we want wisdom we must ask God who gives it willingly IF we are asking with an undivided heart.


It all comes back to being completely sold out to God and not being torn between Him and the world. If we were to step back and look at our lives would we see a life lived solely for God or a life lived on the tightrope between God and the world? If we want to be wise in the godly sense of the word, we need not to be adjoining ourselves with the world and accepting its brand of wisdom. These two forms of wisdom are not similar nor are they compatible.


The wisdom of the world leads us away from the things of God and will lead us to think only about ourselves. It tells us that if it feels right to us then it is OK to do. We are told to look out for “number one” no matter who it hurts. We are led to believe that it is OK to treat those that are not like us differently. The wisdom of the world says that sins aren’t really bad. These statements are obvious contradictions to Godly wisdom but can we say that we have never applied them to our lives?


The wisdom of God leads us in a different direction. Instead of looking out for ourselves and our interests, He wants us to look out for the interests of others and ask first and foremost what He wants. Godly wisdom has us asking if it pleases and glorifies God instead of bringing us the pleasure for self. He wants us to see others as He sees them, His creation who need His love. We have a great opportunity to share with them what it means to be loved by God. And we should see sin the way He sees it, as detestable and deserving of death. Godly wisdom helps us see things God’s way and there should be no greater desire for God’s people than to see things as He would have us see them and then to act in His way.


Making It Personal

What kind of wisdom have you been listening to? Are there portions of the world’s wisdom that are ruling your life? What needs to change in your thinking or actions so that they please God?


Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever heard of any of those ways of the world’s wisdom? What are some ways that Godly wisdom is hard? Is there an action you can take today that matches Jesus’ kind of wisdom?


Closing Prayer

Father, forgive us the times we have enjoyed the world’s wisdom instead of seeking out Your wisdom. Please give us the wisdom we need to make choices that reflect You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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