Bible Verse: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 (ESV)
Scripture Reading: James 3:13-18; Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 139:23-24
We talked yesterday about discovering godly wisdom, and today, James 3:17 reminds us to look to God for a trustworthy source of knowledge. This verse gives us a great description of divine wisdom and helps us see what we must aim for.
How are you doing in developing these aspects of godly wisdom?
Are we pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial and sincere? I wish we had more time to unpack all these aspects of godly wisdom, but for now, dig into these on your own.
The one aspect I want to highlight is how this verse begins. Wisdom from above is pure, so it makes sense that it first needs a pure place to grow. James contrasts worldly and godly wisdom in the previous verses in this passage. He refers to the “heart” as a context where worldly—and I believe, by inference, godly— wisdom can grow.
Now, there are many places where the Bible refers to having a pure heart and how important the heart relates to our human experience. The verse that always stands out to me is Proverbs 4:23, which references that the condition of your heart today will determine your future. In other words, you can’t have a sick heart and a healthy future. So, for godly wisdom to flourish and grow, it needs a healthy or pure heart.
So, if you want to develop wisdom in your life, another step in the pathway to understanding is to make sure your heart is pure. How do you do that? Psalm 139:23-24 is a great start. Ask God to search your heart because He’s the only one who knows and can test it. Once you do that, deal with what God has brought to your attention. It’s not always easy, but it’s always beneficial.
Prayer: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Today, God, I am borrowing this prayer from the Psalmist. Help my heart to be pure and stay pure so Your wisdom can grow and develop in me.
Reflection: When was the last time I spent time with God in prayer, asking Him to search my heart? What things do I know He has brought up that I need to deal with but haven’t yet? How do I ensure my heart stays pure?
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