James 3:13-18 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Scripture contrasts man’s wisdom with God’s wisdom. These two kinds of wisdom are in operation today. One is from above, and the other is devilish. What are the manifestations of earthly, devilish wisdom? Envy, strife, and confusion, which give birth to workings of evil. Envy is the fierceness of indignation coupled with punitive zeal. Strife basically means contentions. Confusion means instability, a state of disorder and disturbance. What are the manifestations of wisdom from above? Pure, or unmixed with contamination. Peaceable, or one that fosters peace. Gentle means moderate or patient. Easy to be intreated, or compliant, or able to reason with. Full of mercy, compassionate; a kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them. Without partiality or hypocrisy, sincere.
When the Proverbs tell us that Wisdom cries out to us, the wisdom that God sends is a kind of wisdom that is pure, gentle, easy to reason with, merciful and compassionate. This is heavenly, godly wisdom. This is being like Jesus Christ. The wisdom that is from below is earthly, sensual, bitter, contentious, and confusing. The next time you are engaged in a discussion with someone about personal matters or life issues, remember this wisdom checklist and use it to determine the content of your heart’s motivation. Selah.