Saturday, February 25, 2017

Speak Life


James 3:13-18

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. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  17 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. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.  (NIV)

I have been working my way verse, by verse through the book of James and this passage struck me.  I asked myself some pretty hard questions.  Who among us is truly wise?  Where are we getting our wisdom?  Where am I getting my wisdom?  What has me bitter, or better yet, what am I jealous of? 

I had not really thought about earthly wisdom before, but according to James, this “wisdom” is truly demonic.  Even if a person seems wise, if they are speaking out of jealousy, or out of selfish ambition, then they are not speaking life into a situation.  They are actually speaking from a perspective that is unholy.  You will probably leave a conversation with that person feeling worse about yourself or the situation. 

According to James, wisdom from above comes from a perspective of peace.  It is gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and without hypocrisy.  Wisdom from above embodies the fruits of the spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness and self-control.  So if you are truly connected to and in relationship with God, you have these fruits flowing through you.  If you are living out the fruits of the Holy Spirit Himself, then you are experiencing and expressing Godly wisdom.

Words matter.  Where is the spirit of which you speak coming from?  Is it your own desire to be “right” in a situation, or is it your desire to lift up and encourage another?  Is it your desire to be a peacemaker, or does selfish ambition get in the way of any relationship, making peace an impossibility?  Do you pride yourself on speaking the language of sarcasm, or do you walk humbly and speak life to others? 

If we are truly walking in relationship with Jesus, and the fruits of the spirit are on full display in our lives, then Godly wisdom will flow in and through us, therefore speaking life to others will be natural.  If we are not connected (daily) with Jesus, then there can be only one alternative and that is we are connected with the world.  When connected with the world, then worldly fruits will be on display.  Bitterness, jealousy, envy and selfish ambition.   

         It is a choice. Today, will you speak life, or will you speak something other than life?