Let's start with a quick refresher: Throughout James, we have been discussing how James is writing to a persecuted and scattered people. James has been focusing on how to live in the midst of tribulations and temptations.
We finished up last week on our discussion of the tongue. One aspect being that we must let God control our tongue in ALL circumstances.
As we delve into this week's lesson, James will show us how to handle struggles of life with WISDOM. However, we will see TRUE WISDOM only comes from God.
Let's start with a question: What is meant by "good conduct" or "good life" in verse 13 concerning one's works? It doesn't mean there is no trouble in this person's life but that their works are done in meekness.
This brings us to our next question: Does meekness or humble mean weakness?
According to Norma Becker (one of the lesson writer's used for this study), "Meekness or humble means "Strength under control." This is one whose strength comes from relying on God and not self. This person also relies on God for vindication and refuses to retaliate when insulted.
**Remember TRUE WISDOM comes from God. It is not just good advice, good ideas, or good morals**
God's Wisdom is real when it is in motion, However, this is more than giving to charity. Wisdom is from God in a person's life is shown by how he/she deals with family, friends, finances, spend free time and approaches life in general.
QUESTION: Who is guiding your life? Is it God's TRUE WISDOM or the world's wisdom?
Living in the meekness of God's TRUE WISDOM means we do not let our current circumstances tell us who we are and who we belong to....
James further instructs the wisdom of meekness doesn't exist in jealous and ambitious heart. Jealousy creates a wedge not only between us and others but also with God. We must come to the realization that the world's wisdom is actually anti-wisdom for there is NO TRUE WISDOM without God.
Anti-wisdom results in confusion and evil whereas, Godly Wisdom is (as stated in verse 17) pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy & grace fruits without hypocrisy or partiality.
Therefore, We want to walk away from today's lesson understanding this final thought:
"To be wise is to see that our present circumstances DO NOT tell the story of our real worth or limit our ability to receive full life from God"---(courtesy of Trinity Study Center lesson writer).