In this section of James’ letter (James 3:13-18), he compares and contrasts two basic approaches to life: one can either approach life with worldly wisdom or heavenly wisdom. James shows us that worldly wisdom is marked by bitter jealousy, whose root is really the idol of entitlement; and selfish ambition, whose root is personal achievement (“If I don’t achieve, then I don’t matter).
Worldly wisdom is a life governed by devotion to self. In contrast to worldly wisdom, heavenly wisdom is not “from below” but rather comes from above, it’s from God and consequently is driven by grace, unconditional love, and as a result will ultimately lead to joy and freedom since it places its trust and focus on God and not on self.
I mentioned that grace according to one author is ONE-WAY LOVE. This means that grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. It's love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable. Now this is good news. This unconditional “one-way love” is what will change a person’s heart.
This truth has radically impacted me. It has changed the way I parent, live with my wife and talk to and about people. The grace of God is at the heart of heavenly wisdom and is the change agent that will transform the life a Christian. If we approach life with heavenly wisdom instead of worldly wisdom, we will be able to be patient and give grace time to work in the lives of those we love and desire to meet Jesus.
James desire here is to make us aware of what takes place in our lives even though we seldom think about it or realize it. The truth is that most of us have (unwittingly) prescribing to worldly wisdom, which has led to the relational strife we often experience.
What area of your life would be radically changed if looked at through the lens of heavenly wisdom rather than worldly wisdom? This lens is Jesus – the embodiment of wisdom – he encapsulates the amazing grace of God! It’s ALL about Jesus! So let's turn to Jesus, release control, trust in His finished work for us, and be transformed at a deep heart level!