Read This Week’s Passage: James 3:13–18
One way to define gaining knowledge is the acquiring of facts or information. Wisdom, though, is the ability to use that knowledge in the right way: with sound judgment, a wholistic perspective, and in lessons learned through personal experience. There are different kinds of wisdom, James is quick to point out, and, like other attributes he has explored so far, the kind of wisdom that he is talking about can be seen in the life.
Though other characteristics of wisdom are explored in subsequent verses, James first focuses on the meekness of wisdom. Knowledge, when not tempered with wisdom, can easily lead to arrogance, a completely disproportionate view of one’s own self-importance. Perhaps it’s due to humanity’s natural bent toward selfishness or the inaccurate metric of accomplishment to determine self-worth; in whatever case, nearly everyone can think of someone who comes across as arrogant because of how they wield “how much they know” about this or that. Wisdom, when it’s the right kind, allows the knowledgeable one to see their knowledge in its context, and see themselves in the proper context too. This “proper context” can also be called reality, and it results in meekness.
This week’s lesson will explore how not all wisdom is created equal, but the Christian doesn’t have to be confused about the good and the bad—just like everything else, the evidence is in the fruit.