Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wisdom from Above

I have always wanted to have wisdom.  Ever since I was a little girl and heard the story of Solomon pleasing God by asking for wisdom.  I was bright enough to know the point of THAT story!  I've studied the passages that say those of us lacking wisdom can ask God for it and He will grant it.  So I pray and ask God for it.

With three children and a desire to adopt a fourth, I can always use some more wisdom.  And I believe God has given me some from time to time; I am certainly wiser than I was 20 years ago, or even 2.  However, I've never thought, "oh, me.  I'm so wise!"  This is probably good since pride is a sin, but it has also made me skip over some verses that I recently read anew and felt quite struck by.

James 3:13-18:
"Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

Okay, this is going to seem pretty silly, but basically, this passage starts out with "Who among you is wise and understanding?" Because I didn't think of myself as wise and understanding, I didn't really bother applying this passage to my life.  Jealousy and selfish ambition are rarely my "sin of choice" ie my biggest temptations, so I've never taken the time to memorize this scripture or meditate on it.  

However, last week I was struggling a bit with jealousy and selfish ambition AND this passage came up in my Bible study homework.  Immediately God used it to speak to me and sooth my soul.  Truly it was like an immediate balm; I cannot even explain it unless you have also felt God's word seep into the cracks in your hurting heart. 

The details of what was happening to make me hurt is not relevant, but I really want to share what the passage says to me.

First, "who among you is wise and understanding?"

Well, not I, but I certainly WANT to be.  God will give me (and you) wisdom and understanding, and this passage tells us what that will look like.  

It will be and be evidenced by:
good behavior
our gentle deeds
full of mercy
full of good fruits
without hypocrisy
sowing peace

It will NOT be:
bitterly jealous
selfish ambition

I know it is just a list straight from the Bible verses.  But it is the scripture that has the power to change us not my rambling words.  But the thing is, when I pray for wisdom and ask God to guide me, it is such a big idea and almost too vague.  When I look at God's definition of wisdom, how He breaks it up into little pieces, all of a sudden some decisions become much clearer (not all, but some).  

Why do I want to make a decision one way or the other?  

What is difficult in this choice?  

Is it because what I want to do personally conflicts with what is ultimately best for all?  

If so, all of a sudden my decision becomes easier.  It can still hurt to let go of my selfish desire/ambition, but there is peace in the confidence that comes from choosing the right behavior that is clear with God's wisdom.

Are there any verses that the Holy Spirit has revealed to you in a whole new light, that God has poured like molasses over your heart and filled in some aching cracks?

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Wow, I need to introduce you to another friend, seems you have a lot in common with her also as she is posting about adoption and also has 3 children of her own...