1. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS PURE.
If a person isn't pure, he is polluted or defiled. Such a one isn't godly and he certainly doesn't have wisdom from God. Christians are pure as long as they love the Lord and are faithful to Him. Yes, we still transgress, but the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin as long as we continue to walk in the light (I John 1:7-9). We must seek purity of heart and life if we are to be truly wise.
2. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS PEACEABLE.
Worldly wisdom creates strife, but divine wisdom produces peace. Heavenly wisdom causes one to have a loving heart and a peaceful disposition that leads to harmonious relationships. If we are peaceful, then we will not stir up needless controversy. We will set aside divisive and boastful attitudes.
3. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS GENTLE.
This refers to an attitude of patience and forbearance, even when someone is trying to provoke you. In order to be gentle, one must be strong and able to control his emotions. Those who aren't gentle are lacking in heavenly wisdom.
4. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS WILLING TO YIELD.
Christians need to be people who are willing to yield. I didn't say be spineless, but be willing to yield on matters of indifference. We should never yield to sin or doctrinal error, but when there are disagreements over unimportant matters, then we ought to be willing to forego our privileges out of love for others and Christ. We must always be willing to listen to others, and if we find that we've made a mistake, turn from it and yield. Don't be of the mindset that you always have to get your way. I'll always remember a teacher I had back in Junior High. One of his favorite sayings was: "My way or the highway!" In other words, do it the way he told you to or leave! I've never heard any Christians use those exact words, but tragically I've heard similar sentiments conveyed over matters of opinion! True wisdom is willing to yield anything except God's truth.
5. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS FULL OF MERCY.
We need to be compassionate to those who are struggling, whether they're suffering unjustly or by their own hand. We need to imitate God's example and feel pity and sympathy for them. And, we need to turn our feelings of mercy and compassion into action, just like Jesus did.
6. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS FULL OF GOOD FRUITS.
We emphasized this point yesterday. True wisdom doesn't exist without good conduct.
7. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS WITHOUT PARTIALITY.
We talked about this quite a bit also in our lessons from the first half of James 2. Heavenly wisdom doesn't show favoritism.
8. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS WITHOUT HYPOCRISY.
True wisdom is sincere and honest; it doesn't pretend to be what it isn't. It doesn't put on disguises in order to conceal hidden motives that are unholy. We need to make sure our actions and attitudes are free from hypocrisy.
In James 3:18, we read - "Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." James seems to be tying together his previous thoughts. The truly wise person will not sow seeds of discord but those of peace. The blessed results of righteousness do not exist except in an atmosphere of peace.
Let us summarize these powerful verses. Earthly wisdom is self-seeking and lacks meekness. Heavenly wisdom exhibits itself in kindness toward others and in a life that is filled with good works. Teachers of the gospel and all Christians in general should strive for wisdom that is from above.
Having the IQ of a genius or achieving greatness by worldly standards doesn't make one wise in God's eyes. We all need to strive for true wisdom--wisdom that is from above. But, even that is not enough if it is not shown meekly through good conduct. We would all do well to learn Psalm 111:10 - "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments."
Friends, are you showing yourself to be wise by your good, meek conduct, or is your heart afflicted with selfishness and bitterness?