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. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18 (NIV)
A Greater Victory
What do you think real wisdom that comes from me looks like? I’m not sure. I think you have a pretty good idea. Tell me what you once thought real wisdom looked like? What I once thought is now a little embarrassing to say out loud. Go ahead anyhow. I once thought that wisdom would empower me to win every argument and confound my opponents in every debate. The wisdom I wanted would leave my opponents speechless with nothing to say except that I was completely correct. That’s pretty funny, isn’t it? I suppose so. I would have used the word pathetic instead of funny. What does that wisdom sound like to you now? It sounds a lot more like pride than wisdom. Yes, it does.
What have you learned about your desire to win every argument and debate? The desire to win is not wise. I could win every argument and debate and have no one that would want to be my friend. That kind of wisdom is very unattractive and unappealing. Who wants to be around someone that is always right?
Your wisdom is just the opposite. How so? Your wisdom is filled with humility. It doesn’t overpower or force itself on anyone. It is gentle and attractive and appealing. It stands out as dramatically different than the wisdom of the world. Yes, it does. Your wisdom goes out of its way to be helpful to others. It does not serve itself. No, it does not. Instead of always wanting to win, your wisdom is willing to suffer wrong. Why is that? You are more interested in winning the hearts of men and women than you are in winning the popular arguments of the day. Yes, I am. Have you ever won arguments and lost people? Yes, I have. Now I know that I would rather love and serve people than conquer them with my wise debating skills.
I now know that your wisdom sows peace in this world. Why is that? The goal of your wisdom isn’t to win as the world considers winning. No, it is not. Your wisdom seeks a greater victory. Yes, it does. Tell me what is that victory? You desire a harvest of righteousness. Yes, I do. Your wisdom is meant to draw men and women to you so that they will follow you as their Savior and Lord. Yes, that is the goal of my wisdom. Is this the kind of wisdom you desire? Yes Lord, it is. Will you allow me to use you to plant and reap a harvest of righteousness in this world? Yes Lord, I will.
Heavenly Father, I have tried to live by the wisdom that comes from this world long enough. It doesn’t help and makes matters worse. I ask for your wisdom that comes from heaven, to guide all my thoughts, words, and actions. Amen
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