“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show their good life; by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13
And our north star for wisdom this week:
“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.” James 3:17
James points out that we won’t know the wise and understanding among us by their social media campaigns that tell us they are wise and understanding but that we will recognize them by the evidence of their humble deeds.
Let’s talk about “deeds” for a moment. Earlier in his letter, James says “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (2:18) and “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (2:26).
He is also very deliberate in pointing out that the deeds of the wise and understanding are humble. Consider these words from his friend Paul:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
Or this from his friend Peter:
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5, NIV
So then, we know the wise and understanding among us by their actions which demonstrate they are putting the interests of others ahead of their own.
This is heavenly wisdom. These people understand that doing deeds that put others ahead of their own selfish interest are an expression of their faith.
Father God, help me to see the wise and understanding among us. I pray that You would lead me today to bless someone, even without them knowing it was me. I pray that You would speak to me and lead me in this. In Jesus’ name, Amen.