“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” James 3:13-15 (ESV)
In today’s verse, James writes about wisdom that comes from above and wisdom that is earthly. The wisdom that is from above is wisdom from God. God’s wisdom looks at eternity while earthly wisdom focuses on the here and now. God’s wisdom is found in loving others while earthly wisdom focuses on self and gaining pleasure.
The source of wisdom from above is God.
The source of earthly wisdom is demonic.
God’s wisdom contains an eternal perspective.
Earthly wisdom maintains a temporal perspective.
It is important for us to understand two things from these verses.
First, many decisions we will make today will be made either according to an eternal perspective, or according to a temporal perspective. Second, when we choose, we are choosing either in line with God or in line with the forces of evil.
As physicians we are fortunate to earn above average incomes, and in some cases that income is far above average.
One way we reveal our perspective is how we spend money.
Let’s take for example the purchase of a car. Whether we recognize it or not, part of our choice of car is based upon either an eternal or temporal perspective.
We can choose a car that communicates our wealth and status, or we can choose a car on the simple basis of function and reliability. We can choose a car that brings with it prestige or a car that is hardly noticed by others. The same is true of the home we choose, our clothes and many other things we purchase.
It even extends to our friends.
We can associate with who bring us recognition and prestige, or with those who draw us closer to God.
Many choices we make are partially based on either eternity or ourselves.
These choices either move us closer to God…or further away.
That’s why we need to make those choices carefully and prayerfully!
Prayer: Lord help me see how my choices either draw me closer to You or further away!