Dictionary.com defines a wise guy as “A cocksure, conceited, and often insolent person; smart aleck.” Do you ever have to deal with people like that? Yeah, I thought so.
Some people are always looking for a way to put others down, or always seem to be ready with an annoying remark. Conceited to the core, they are obnoxious. Though I often try to give examples to illustrate my opening point, I do not need to do so here. You’ve already had the best examples come to mind from your own past. People who have gone out of their way to make sure you know how smart they think they are; while attempting to show how dumb you are in the process.
This is the total opposite of the wisdom God gives us. In today’s verse James the Apostle tells us that the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Purity is the character of NOT having things added that adulterate it. When something is pure, you don’t need to worry about something else being inside of it, and therefore changing its character. Pure light has no darkness. When you are confident of something’s purity, you can employ it with confidence. When you are confident of someone’s purity, you can trust them implicitly. Purity makes intimacy possible.
He who is totally pure will always act totally in line with His character.
Blessed are the peacemakers, Jesus tells us, for they shall be called children of God. His character is to bring peace. First peace WITH God as we establish our relationship with Him. Then the peace OF God, which brings us peace and comfort, even in ways that we cannot comprehend and passes our understanding. And finally the peace FROM God, which we then carry into situations as His change agents.
Gentleness is a demonstrated respect for the needs and concerns of another as you deal with them. Gentleness is a characteristic of love. The imagery of the shepherd caring for his flock is often employed in the Old Testament as a life lesson in gentleness. Paul reminds Timothy, his disciple, that the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition.
OPEN TO REASON
God’s wisdom stands up to the examination of it’s foundations. Without faith it is impossible to please God, but He doesn’t ask us to check our brains at the door of the church. The faith to which He calls us requires His wisdom. That wisdom will demand our trust. But God’s purity allows us to develop intimacy with Him. His peaceful character draws us to Him, and His gentleness demonstrates His love for us. And so the reasoned wisdom of the Almighty has its intended effect , as God’s wisdom works repentance in us, leading to the knowledge of the truth. This is wisdom. It allows us to come to our senses and escape from the snare of the devil, who had been holding us captive to do his will.
FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS
As we come to our senses and escape the trap which had held us, we find that God’s wisdom is full of mercy. It brings us to open places of freedom without accusations of the past life in which we had been enslaved. There we find that these places of freedom produce good and wise things within us. We are made fruitful in the wisdom of God.
God’s offer of freedom is open to all who will come. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved. There are no other requirements, no higher bar. All who will come are welcome.
The word sincere has its roots in two Latin words – SINE meaning “without” and CERA meaning “wax.” It seems that marble craftsmen in the days of the Roman Republic would often cover minor imperfections in their work by filling cracks and mistakes with a white wax. This would allow a statue to appear to be a much higher quality than it actually was. But the best of the best statues, and therefore the most valuable, had no wax fillers. (Now we’re back to PURITY, see how God’s word can tie in with itself !!!) These top-quality statues would be marked “SINE CERA” (no wax) to show their quality craftsmanship.
God’s wisdom works in us to change our very character. He doesn’t “fill the cracks” in our lives with make-believe solutions that will never stand the test of time. He fills us with His Spirit, which changes us from within.
This is the true purpose of wisdom.
Does the Lord’s wisdom give us insight into specific life situations? Yes, of course. But the promise of the verse in James relates to much more than asking for insight about where to go or what to do. It is a promise to change us from within when we ask Him to do so. He does so generously and without finding fault.
The LORD gives wisdom! Even to wise guys. (And that’s what changes their character.)