But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and
good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
Something that I have been striving for over the years is wisdom. I want to be a wise person, and I want to make wise decisions. Why? Because I know that, if I make wise choices, my life will go so much smoother than if I make foolish ones. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what the wise decision is, so it’s helpful that James provides a litmus test of sorts to help us figure it out. Here are a few things that characterize wisdom:
- It’s pure. Wisdom will never have an impure motive, nor will it ever encourage you to morally impure actions.
- It’s peaceable. Wisdom never searches for a fight; its intent is not to cause trouble.
- It’s gentle. Wisdom doesn’t come in like a battering ram and force its own way.
- It’s open to reason. Wisdom submits to authority that is placed above it.
- It’s full of mercy. Wisdom doesn’t seek to prove a point; it simply forgives wrongs that have been committed and points people to the truth.
- It’s full of good fruits. The life lived by wisdom is blessed in many ways.
- It’s impartial. Wisdom doesn’t play favorites; it does what’s right for the sake of what’s right.
- It’s sincere. Wisdom is full of integrity; there is a purity of heart by the one who is guided by wisdom.
Take a few minutes to look through these things and do a self-assessment. You may find areas where you have succeeded in wisdom but others where you need to refocus. Let’s, together, seek to be wise in all that we do.