e enjte, 12 korrik 2007

James 3:13-18

Passage: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Journal: We have all known intellectuals. People that are bright, well read, and can retain and recount facts. This brain power likely means that the person is smarter than 95% of the people around them. They often rise to the top of board rooms, town halls and institutions (including the Church). These people are often the power brokers (think of the number of "Ivy Leaguers" that have been President or have run for President). Yet, we don't necessarily consider the brightest around us as the wisest among us (I am thinking of a local professional sports franchise owner as Exhibit A).

What is the primary difference between earthly wisdom (brain power) and heavenly wisdom? The Bible, in its wisdom literature (Job to Song of Solomon), definitely divides wisdom into two types -- the wisdom of man and the wisdom of God. In fact, it was deeply rooted in the Hebrew culture that true "Godly" wisdom was behavioral. The biggest fool of all was the person who knew the truth, and yet did not apply it to his life by living his life for that truth.

James continues his litmus test for genuine faith by incorporating into the checklist the "the meekness of wisdom." That is, the behavior of true wisdom. In other words, the man who has faith is wise, and this wisdom is more than mere intellectual knowledge. This wisdom is the faithful man behaving in a way that applies this truth to his conduct and character. It cannot involve arrogance or self-promotion, as earthly wisdom normally does. Rather, it involves meekness. The wise man lives for the glory of God and, rather smartly, finds all his joy in this great glory. Who is wise and understanding among you? It is God's humble servant, and not man's arrogant master.

Heard 'Round the House:
Jill, Song and Anna are in Oklahoma (near Tulsa) for a few days at Chinese Culture Camp. That leaves me with the Downsie Triplets (Vera, Emma and Ella) and the two boys (Alex and Luke). I obviously filled the maternal gap quite nicely last night at dinner during this Chef John moment.
Alex: This tastes just the way Mommy makes it.
Daddy: I will take that as a compliment.
Luke: Are you saying that you are as good a cook as Mommy?
Daddy: No. I am not saying that.
Alex: Still, it is amazing that you make it taste just like Mommy does.

Note: The dinner was Stouffer's chicken enchiladas (heat at 400 for 1 hour 20 minutes), refried beans (involving spooning two dog food like cans into a pan and heating it), and tortilla chips (I opened the package, apparently "just like Mommy").