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True Wisdom

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. (James 3:17-18)

James 3:14 to 16 showed what “false wisdom” is, sourced from earthly influence that leads to broken relationships and “every evil practice.” Closing out James 3, James shows what “true wisdom,” is which God gives to those who ask of Him. As a reminder from James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

James lists eight characteristics of true wisdom. First, it is pure, meaning that its intentions are not self-edifying. Second, peace-loving, meaning that it brings people together who may be in contention with one another. Third, gentle, meaning that it is reasonable when making demands from others. Fourth, compliant, meaning that there is a willingness to learn from others who are speaking from reason. Fifth, full of mercy, meaning that it is compassionate. Sixth, good fruits, meaning that there is a record, or proof, of positive outcomes displayed through action. Seventh, unwavering, meaning without prejudice. Finally, without pretense, meaning it is genuine and sincere.

Closing out the chapter, the resulting effects of true wisdom is “the fruit of righteousness,” meaning that it accomplishes God’s purposes and plan. True wisdom also allows the individual to experience internal peace, knowing that they are following God’s will; as well as “cultivate peace,” building harmonious relationships with others. In contrast to the selfishness of false wisdom which destroys relationships and isolates the individual, the beauty of true wisdom is that in serving others and pursuing God’s will, relationships are built up and made stronger.


Isaac De Guzman

Note: This devotional was supposed to be for yesterday, but I accidentally uploaded the one for today yesterday (James 4:1-3). Apologies for the confusion, but will continue back on track with James 4:4-6 on Monday. Thank you for the emails; helps me out :)


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