Wise and Understanding

We’ve been on this journey through the book of James. There have been times where, I hope, we have been challenged and yet encouraged. Challenged to help us have lives that demonstrate our love for Jesus Christ, and encouraged to help us grow in our relationship with God and with other people.

This week, we begin to look at the passage which is considered to be the heart of the letter. At the end of this week, we’ll see a response to God we can take on a daily basis.

James 3:13 “Are any of you wise and understanding? Show that your actions are good with a humble lifestyle that comes from wisdom.”

These are important questions we should ask. But, how do we know if we have wisdom? If we know we have wisdom, how does this affect our lives? Are our lives humble enough to allow the wisdom from God to define us?

One of the first things I think we should look at are definitions. Definitions of “wisdom” and “humble.”


: knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life

: the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand

: knowledge of what is proper or reasonable : good sense or judgment


: not proud : not thinking of yourself as better than other people

: given or said in a way that shows you do not think you are better than other people

: showing that you do not think of yourself as better than other people

If someone were to tell you how your life appeared to them, what would they say? It would be difficult for me to hear someone else describe my life. After all, they don’t know what I feel or what I’m thinking.

But, I think this is the point. We all want to think people know the real us; but what if they knew our thoughts and our feelings we don’t show? How humble would we be if another person gave us their perception of us?

I invite you today to pray about wisdom and see how this impacts your life. I’m still learning and growing; but God is good and faithful to send wisdom when we ask. Then, we seek to understand what we have learned. I believe one of the tricks is to not let wisdom make us feel better than other people, but to seek out to better our understanding to be in relationship with them which will help our relationship with God.

Lord, thank you for all you have given. I pray for your guidance today. Help me see you and your work in this world. Amen

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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