James 3:13-15 (NIV)
Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 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. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
Luke 12:32-34 (NIV)
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. A life framed by deeds done in humility. Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. Today, that’s a calling that will not be followed except by a very few. Those who follow get “isn’t that nice” cat calls, maybe some donations, the cover of Newsweek. Few and far between are people like that. I’m there in the “not me” crowd, so I’m pointing the finger squarely at myself. I’m not one of “them”. Yet.
Let’s take a second to unpack this. What kind of treasure is gained through envy and selfish ambition? Think about it. Envy and selfish ambition – me, me, me. Wisdom says that “the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.” Gal 5:19-23 (ESV) Yeah, that sounds about like the world today. We have sexual immorality – porn, sex trade, slavery, Ashley Madison…. We have impurity, sensuality, idolatry. Everything on the list describes our world today. I don’t find wisdom here – do you?
Wisdom says that a good life is measured by deeds done in humility and that where your treasure is, so will your heart be. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control (Gal 5:22-23). Wisdom is giving. It’s the heart and soul of Christ. It’s who He is. It’s wisdom. It’s the way forward.
Let’s think about what we need to make the world a better place. Wisdom and not selfish ambition. Building into others, not taking from them. A redistribution of wealth – mostly resources, freedom, love, joy, peace, even money, done in wisdom, love. Done in the heart and soul of Christ. Done in wisdom.