Friday, October 22, 2021
Social media has made it convenient for us to spout off anything we feel like saying. We feel enabled to speak our minds on any subject without fear of hurting anyone’s feelings because we don’t have to face them. We can even delete their comments when the argument gets too heated. Unfortunately, many people don’t delete the arguments, and they get rather embarrassing. But what hurts the most is when followers of Christ engage in such arguments and bring dishonor to the Gospel of grace. Such behavior is foolish. It is a direct contradiction to God’s wisdom.
Carefully read these sacred words from Scripture.
James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
James tells us that the proof of wisdom in action is by our good conduct. But how do we define good conduct. Thankfully the context of this verse tells us. The previous twelve verses all speak about control of the tongue. The tongue is described as a blazing fire of conflict and confrontation. It reveals the foolishness and imperfections of our lives. Those who can control their tongues have good conduct and are determined to be wise.
The conduct of unwise people is further defined in the next few verses.
James 3:14-16 “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
Far too many of the words we speak and social media posts we make are rooted in bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, and all such speech and posts have no relationship with the wisdom of God. In fact, it is all rooted in the spirit world of demons. I speak boldly and bluntly on purpose because it has to stop. We must be wise, and we are most unwise in how we talk.
James encourages us that our tongues can reveal the wisdom of God.
James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Wise people have pure motives that honor Jesus. Wise people don’t contradict themselves. Wise people are peaceable and gentle. Wise people embrace reasonable debate. Wise people are merciful, impartial, and sincere. Wise people produce the good fruit of righteousness. Wise people use their words to do all of these things.
As we bring to a conclusion our study of wisdom, let me leave you with this one thought. Many times we have heard it said, “Show me your love by what you do not by what you say.” That is true. I think it’s also true to say, “Show me your wisdom by what you say and by what you choose not to say.” Let’s all prove that the wisdom of God is in us by controlling our tongues.