Speaker: Jerry Cisar
If you look up “Wisdom” on PsychologyToday.com, the first line reads, “It can be difficult to define wisdom, but people generally recognize it when they encounter it.” In my experience, that is verifiably false. People are hoodwinked, both inside and outside the church, with all sorts of things masquerading as wisdom. People falsely attribute all sorts of things to wisdom.
In this weeks text, James sets out to teach us how to recognize wisdom when we see it, and its deceptive impostor. In chapter 2, James took up the issue of how authentic faith is demonstrated. His point there was that the impostor faith, couldn’t be demonstrated. In chapter 3, he is concerned with how authentic wisdom is demonstrated. In this case, wisdom’s impostor can and is demonstrated. It is important that we recognize this impostor for what it is.
Many associate wisdom with that person who is able to pay off their house by the time they are 35, or to turn a modest investment into a fortune, or successfully launch a business. James wouldn’t be impressed by any of these. Although they certainly would not preclude someone from being wise, neither would they demonstrate it in any way. Indeed, James’ answer to the question, “Who is wise and understanding among you?” might list some of the poor in the congregation. (If they can be rich in faith (2:5), they can certainly also be rich in wisdom.) How would James have discerned authentic wisdom from its counterfeit?
Join us as James teaches us how to discern true spiritual wisdom from false, true Christian maturity from being that which falsely masquerades as maturity from James 3:12-18.