We all aspire to be wise: there is something very attractive in the idea of wisdom. It’s much more than merely knowledge or intelligence; it implies thoughtfulness, depth of understanding, the ability to step back and see things clearly, as they really are. The book of Proverbs gets to the heart of it when it tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
Please read James 3:13-18, and then reflect on your answers to the questions below.
|Monday||What does James see as the pointers in a person’s life as to whether they are “wise and understanding”? Why do you think he chooses these things?|
|Tuesday||James sees a difference between true wisdom and what we might call “worldly wisdom”. What are the characteristics that differentiate the two?|
|Wednesday||Can you see “worldly wisdom” in operation in our world – for instance, in politics, the media, social media? In what ways does this kind of “wisdom” lead to “disorder and every evil practice” (v. 16)?|
|Thursday||The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is eloquent on the topic of wisdom. Please read Proverbs 3:13-26 and then compare that passage to what we read in James’s words in vv. 17-18. What similarities do you see?|
|Friday||James says in v. 17 that true wisdom “comes from heaven”. What does that tell us about how we can grow in wisdom and understanding?|
|Saturday||Why does James particularly pick out “peaceloving” and “peacemaking” as key elements of wisdom? What might that mean in your life if you want to grow in wisdom?|