We’re learning that Wisdom has an attitude and a voice. James discusses both and shows us the importance of the attitude and voice of wisdom. The attitude of wisdom will give altitude and lift to your life – even if it seems like a contradiction to getting things done your way.
James 3:10-13 (KJV) – Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
James 3: 13-18 (NASB) – Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show, by his good behavior his deeds, in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
The wisdom from above has an attitude and a conversation style (see vs. 13). Yesterday we learned about how wisdom is pure. Today we’re going to find that the attitude and conversation of wisdom is:
- Makes friends and doesn’t separate
- Builds bridges, not canyons
- Avoids strife and contention
The goal of wisdom is to bring people together, not divide them. The goal of wisdom is to reconcile, not separate.
This is why truth spoken in anger or with the wrong tone will not produce a good result. This is because it’s not peaceable. Wisdom from above will have the aim to bring about peace where there is disharmony, disruption, strife and division.
How many times did I have the right thing to say, but I said it in the wrong tone?
How many times have we had knowledge, discernment, understanding, or counsel on a matter, but we said it in a way that was divisive, not peaceable, and actually made matters worse?
When our words are peaceable, the medicine they provide is more likely to be swallowed by the recipient and less likely to be spat back in our faces.