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For the believer in Christ, wisdom is not just intellectual. True wisdom must also be demonstrated in practical ways. James writes, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13 (NIV2011)
Earlier in his letter, James tells us how those who lack wisdom may acquire it. He tells us we should ask God for it (1:5). It is not something we can acquire naturally, but if we ask God for it, He is more than willing to give us a generous supply.
Jesus said we would know people by the fruit they produce in their lives (Matthew 7:16). As it relates to Godly wisdom, those who possess such wisdom will not be able to keep it hidden. Rather, it will be abundantly evident in how they live their lives and how they relate to others. In other words, they will be “fruit-bearers.”
How will we know if we, or others, possess Godly wisdom, and are bearing the right kind of fruit? According to James, if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. (James 3:14, 15) The fruit of that kind of “wisdom” will be disorder and evil practices. (James 3:16)
However, wisdom that comes from heaven is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. This wisdom will produce fruit accordingly.
The contrast between the two is stark. Which wisdom is evidenced in your life?