Heart in Hand: The Good Life (James 3:13-18) 13 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. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 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. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
The good life is the result of true wisdom.
Proverbs 1:1-7, The Message Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it’s going; A manual for living, for learning what’s right and just and fair; To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality. There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn— Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.
To live the good life, we must know the difference between True wisdom and False Wisdom .
Colossians 3:1-5, NIV 2011 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
True Wisdom = source is God, accessed through humility, produces a good life.
Psalm 1:1-3, NLT 1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
False Wisdom = source is satan, accessed through pride, produces a dead life.
Psalm 1:4-6, NLT 4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Sam Allberry, “The fact is, we need to have God’s perspective on our lives. We need him to humble our hearts. We need him to tame our tongues. It is why humility and wisdom go together in this passage: to truly know yourself is to know yourself as someone in need of God’s grace.”
Proverbs 2:6, NIV 2011 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Proverbs 19:8, The Message “Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life.”
A Good Life on display means
Peace in Mind.
Heart of Forgiveness.
Attractive to others.
Take the Proverbs Challenge!
Colossians 4:6, NIV 2011 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Read James 3:13-18. As you read, pay attention to the way James speaks of Wisdom. What are some things that stand out about wisdom?
According to James, what are evidences of a Good life? Can you think of a person or people that you believe have a good life based on what James says? What stands out to you about them?
In what ways can wisdom be earthly, unspiritual, or demonic? Can you think of some examples where this type of wisdom has impacted you personally - either giving or having received it? What did God teach you through that experience about the power of your tongue. (Read James 3:1-12 again.)
Read Psalm 1:1-6. What do these verses say about the value of true wisdom and the danger of false wisdom? How could you use these verses to challenge people to learn to discern between the two?
Proverbs 30 Day Challenge:
Choose a translation that is easy to understand (NIV, NLT, The Message)
One Proverb per day (start with the day of the month and move forward)
After reading, reflect on one section.
Use it as a prayer for wisdom from the LORD.