“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” (James 3:17, New Living Translation)
In today’s scripture selection, James contrasts earthly wisdom with heavenly wisdom.
Earthly wisdom’s perspective is 70 or 80 years — enough only to cover our time on this earth. If you think you can outrun to the grave the scales of human justice, what is to prevent you from being contentious, rude, and unyielding in your dealings with others?
On the other hand, heavenly wisdom has an eternal perspective. It recognizes the reality of spiritual things, and of God’s reckoning.
Resist earth’s Siren call to its ways and to its wisdom. Other people may scoff at your “naivete,” but only for the short span of their lives. The approval of God is forever! – Luther
“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” (Proverbs 16:25, NLT)
“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
How many times have we heard (or even spoken) those words?
Maybe we didn’t know any better. Or, maybe we knew the possible consequences of the short-cut we had chosen, but proceeded anyway thinking that no one would notice — or care.
Proverbs tells us that some decisions — even apparent “sure-fire” decisions — lead to death. Death comes to childhood dreams because of adolescent indiscretions. Death overtakes the prospects of a bright career because of poor choices during the young worker’s “salad days.” One dies spiritually when he or she trades a season of prosperity for an eternity of poverty.
There, however, is wisdom on this path: Obedience to God’s word leads to life. – Luther