BIBLICAL JOY
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WISDOM IS NOT SELFISH

We move from our discussion about the tongue to a description of wisdom. Before we get there, here are some starter questions.

1. How would you define wisdom?

2. What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?

3. What is the difference between wisdom and common sense?

Read James 3:13-18.

4. To James, how is wisdom evidenced in one’s life?

5. In verse 14, what actions or motives are not consistent with wisdom?

6. This worldly wisdom results in what?

7. What characterizes godly wisdom?

8. Peacemaking is a product of such wisdom. What is the promise to peacemakers?

Bonus

The Amplified Bible gives us some additional ways to look at this text. I include it because I found it very helpful in my own studies.

13Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom.

14But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth.

15This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal).

16For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.

17But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity).

18And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].

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