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But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. James 3:17

What does it mean to be wise? How can you tell a person who is full of wisdom? The answer is found in the person of Jesus.

Wisdom is shown by our reactions in the time of storm. When the storm blew and the boat was being torn apart, the disciples feared for their lives. Jesus slept peacefully in the bow of the ship. When the woman caught in adultery was brought before him, even though she was guilty of death, he gently restored her faith in God, and in herself by telling her that she was not condemned and encouraging her to live a new life. When the soldiers came to the garden to arrest him on trumped up charges he could, Peter was prepared for war. Jesus healed the very person who was sent to destroy him. When he was disgraced and beaten and humiliated on the cross, even though he could have called legions of angels to deliver him, he endured to the point of death so that I can live.

Jesus’ example is a lesson each of us should strive for in our daily lives. The wisdom of the world says to stand for your rights; to hate those who oppose you; to grab for everything you can on earth because it’s the number of toys you have that really matters. It’s what you can get from relationships that fulfills. Feeling good now is what is important.

But worldly wisdom leads to despair and heartache. Following your heart is fine until it’s broken. Going after all the toys you can is fun until the money runs out. Building your life on relationships lasts as long as the relationship is good, but human relationships are almost certain to fail. Living to party is fun until the party ends and you are left looking in the mirror and realize the best years of your life are gone and you have nothing to show for it.

That’s when the wisdom of Jesus reaches out to you. He’s gentle. His word is always true, his motive always in your best interest. His ways lead to peace and mercy. His heart is full of mercy and forgiveness. Your past mistakes don’t matter. He’s not interested in excuses. He’s not into the blame game. He simply wants to reach out and hold you, to tell you that you aren’t condemned, to bring peace to the storm in your life. Godly wisdom destroys man’s wisdom and brings peace in the midst of adversity.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I’ve tried following my own wisdom and it hasn’t worked.  In the process I’ve made a mess of my life. I’ve hurt others with my words and actions. I’m tired of living in constant despair and frustration. Forgive me for the mistakes I’ve made. Empower me with your Spirit to live a life of wisdom based on your example. In your name I pray, Amen.

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