James 3:13-16 “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.”
If you didn’t understand before why we chose the short book of James to be the derivative for our time of devotion, you probably do now. Do we even need to elaborate on these 3 verses? Enough said. Since I was a teenager, I have always incorporated a cry for wisdom as part of my daily prayer, “Lord, make me wise beyond my years.”
One of my favorite learning and teaching tools is to explain what something is NOT. It really helps on topics that are as vast as wisdom, to educate myself on what NOT do to. Let’s dig in because last time I checked, no one aspires to be ignorant. Wisdom defined, is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement. If you want to be counted wise and build a reputation for wisdom…here’s how NOT to do it.
Do NOT operate with mean-spirited ambition ✔️
Do NOT boast that you are wise ✔️
Do NOT twist the truth ✔️
Do NOT try to look better than others ✔️