James; A Man After My Own Heart

One of my favorite books in the Bible is James.  He is straight forward and to the point.   There is no vagueness.  I tend to communicate in a similar manner, so his “no frills” epistle speaks my language.  

Likely the oldest book of the New Testament, James was written as early as 45 AD.  Although James was a half brother to Jesus, he remained a doubter until he became a witness to Jesus’ resurrection.  It was then that a radical change took place and he went from a doubting brother to a faithful witness.  He quickly became an important leader in the newly formed Christian church and was later martyred for his faith around 62 AD.  This letter has often been referred to as the New Testament Proverbs; full of wisdom.

Wisdom.  This is the word I want to grab ahold of today.  Wisdom is defined as “the ability to discern or judge what is true and right.”  Knowledge on the other hand, is defined as “information gained through experience and acquaintance.”  Accordingly, knowledge can be possessed absent of wisdom. The key difference between the two is discernment.  In a culture where truth has become relative, wisdom is required.  

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:5

James says that if any of us lacks in wisdom, we are to ask God and it shall be given to us through the authentic leadership of the Holy Spirit.  There are so many areas in life that are not clear cut; areas where we need a source of truth in our decision-making.  What is it for you?  Are you facing decisions within friendships, in-laws, your job?  Or maybe it’s more culturally divisive topics such as gun ownership, education, or identity norms.  Whatever it may be, we all need help to discern truth in order to make right decisions; truth that is absolute and applies across  all situations.  

This truth that I am talking about is found in the Word of God.  There is not any decision that you will encounter within a lifetime that the Word can’t rightly direct you.  It is the single most valuable source of wisdom.  Without it, humanity would be lost.  And at present, many are.  Psychologists, counselors, teachers….they are all valuable in our pursuit.  But none compares to the timeless truth contained within the Bible. .  

Right now we are living in an age where biblical wisdom is quickly disappearing from generation to generation.  Our churches are struggling, parents are ill-equipped to disciple, education has become secular, and ethics are subjective to current-day trends.  It is our job as Christians to equip ourselves with biblical truth so that we can live virtuous lives. 

When Sir Francis Bacon coined the term “knowledge is power,” I believe he meant that no great work can be achieved without first having knowledge.  This is still true.  Knowledge acts as the framework for our actions.   However, I would take it one step further and say “wisdom is power.”  As Proverbs 24:5 says, “A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might.”  It is only when biblical discernment and knowledge intersect that truth and righteousness are found.  

And so, I urge you to seek out this wisdom diligently – through prayer, bible study, and Godly counsel –  so that, as James writes, it will be given to you generously without reproach! 

xo Carre