“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 NIV).
Have you noticed how common sense isn’t so common? A lot of smart people are not too wise. They may be educated, but they don’t have wisdom. They may have all kinds of degrees, but they’re a washout with relationships.
James 3:13 says that wisdom is a lifestyle: “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” (NIV).
Wisdom has nothing to do with your intelligence. It has everything to do with your relationships and your character. It’s not a matter of what you say with your lips but what you live with your life—not a matter of your words but of your works and not so much your diplomas but your disposition.
How can you know if you’re wise in the ways you relate to people? The Bible lists the characteristics of wise people in James 3:17: “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” (NIV).
“Pure” means uncorrupted and authentic. In 1 John 3:3 this word is used to refer to Christ’s character. It means you have integrity. If you’re wise, you’re not going to lie to others, cheat them, manipulate them, or be deceitful.
All relationships are built on trust and respect. If you’re not honest, who’s going to trust you? Who’s going to respect you? You must have integrity in your life.
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely” (Proverbs 10:9 NIV). They’re not afraid of being found out because they don’t say one thing to one group and another thing to another group. Someone said, “No one has a good enough memory to be a habitual liar.” Eventually that person is going to slip up. But if you’ve got integrity, you can walk securely and confidently in your relationships because you know you’re not putting people on.
Wise people do not compromise their integrity, because they know that having integrity is the only way to maintain healthy relationships.
Talk About It
- Do you consider yourself a wise person? Why or why not?
- What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?
- Why is it important to have integrity in the small ways you relate to people and not just in your closest relationships?
Your Work is an act of Worship
As you enter your Decade of Destiny, it is important that you understand your work can be an act of worship to God. In fact, if I want God to bless my finances, I must make my work an act of worship.
What I’m saying is that no matter what you do – sweeping the streets, running a corporation or the work of a stay-at-home mom — your job is more than a job.
The Bible says while you are here on earth, you should use your work as an act of worship.
This means whatever you do, you are to do it with enthusiasm.
If your heart is not in it, you are in the wrong job.
If you are not working with all your heart, you are sinning. I didn’t say that, the Bible says it.
Why work with all your heart? Because you are working “as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.“
No matter what I do, if it is to prepare a meal, if it is to sign an invoice, if it is to do an analysis, if it is to close a deal, if it is to make a sale, if it is to make delivery — whatever it is, I am to do it as if I’m doing it for God, and so it becomes an act of worship.
Taking on God’s Character
People often use the phrase “like father, like son” to refer to family resemblance. When people see my likeness in my kids, it pleases me. God wants his children to bear his image and likeness, too. The Bible says,
“You were created to be like God, truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:24 GW)
Let me be absolutely clear: You will never become God, or even a god. That prideful lie is Satan’s oldest temptation. Satan promised Adam and Eve that if they followed his advice,
“you shall be as gods.” (Genesis 3:5 KJV)
Many religions and New Age philosophies still promote this old lie that we are divine or can become gods.
This desire to be a god shows up every time we try to control our circumstances, our future, and people around us.
God doesn’t want you to become a god; he wants you to become godly – taking on his values, attitudes, and character.
We are meant to “take on an entirely new way of life – a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” (Ephesians 4:22 Msg)
God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ.
Becoming like Christ does not mean losing your personality or becoming a mindless clone. God created your uniqueness, so he certainly doesn’t want to destroy it.
– Daily Devotion, RW