Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Godly wisdom vs. the other kind

TODAY'S SPECIAL:  James 3:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." James 3:17

For anyone pursuing godly wisdom, James 3 is a little goldmine.

This passage, with its lists of words begs for a word study. Rather than look at the modern definition of the words used by translators, we're going to look at what the Greek words used in the original text mean — for they are eloquent.

First, James tells us what godly wisdom isn't (vs. 14-16).

Godly wisdom isn't:

Jealous* (#2205 - zelos):  an envious, contentious rivalry.

Characterized by selfish ambition (#2052 - eritheia): electioneering or intriguing for office; a desire to put oneself forward, a partisan fractious spirit.

Earthly (#1919 epigeios): existing upon earth, earthly, terrestrial.

Sensual (#5591 - psuchikos): of or belonging to breath; the principle of animal life which men have in common with the brutes;  the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetites and passions.

Demonic (#1141 daimoniodes): resembling or proceeding from an evil spirit, demon-like.

Godly wisdom is:

Pure (#53 - hagnos): exciting reverence, venerable, sacred, pure from every fault, immaculate, clean.

Peaceable (#1515 - eirene): harmony, concord, peace between individuals, security, safety, prosperity (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous).

Gentle (#1933 - epieikes): equitable, fair, mild.

Reasonable (#2138 - eupeithes): easily obeying, compliant.

Full of mercy (#1656 - eleos): kindness or goodwill towards the miserable or the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.

Full of...good fruits (#2590 - karpos): 1) fruit of a tree or one's progeny— descendants; 2) that which originates or comes from something, an effect, result, work, act or deed.

Unwavering (#87 - adiakritos): without dubiousness, ambiguity, uncertainty. The NKJV translates this "without partiality" - which was the topic of our meditation yesterday.

 Without hypocrisy (#505 - anupokritos): unfeigned, undisguised, sincere.

Oh my - what convicting lists! Do you find yourself in any of the words that describe what godly wisdom isn't? Sadly, I do.

Let's set our hearts on seeking after and fleshing out in our lives true godly wisdom.

*I use words from the NASB translation, because that's the translation of my concordance which has the Strong's Concordance numbers.

Dear God, I so easily pursue the methods of earthly wisdom. By Your Spirit, please point out places where I do that, then help me grow the attitudes and actions of godly wisdom in my life. Amen.

MORE: Astute wisdom or the supernatural equipment of God?

"When looking back on the lives of men and women of God the tendency is to say — what wonderfully astute wisdom they had! How perfectly they understood all God wanted! The astute mind behind is the Mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were foolish enough to trust God's wisdom and the supernatural equipment of God." Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest  October 26 reading.

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