by Jerry Watts

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The Right Kind of Wisdom (17 of 24)
Series: How to Do Life
Jerry Watts
James 3:13-18

Have you ever met someone who seemingly was a great intellect (book-smart) but had no 'common' (horse) sense? It's almost the mad scientist persona where he can perform great academic feats but has trouble tying his shoe.
In the New Testament, the word for wisdom is 'sophis' which means practical knowledge. Knowledge can take things apart but wisdom puts things together. A person of Biblical wisdom is a person of discernment.
Most every person I know wants to possess wisdom, yet wisdom is not sold at the stores or on the internet. From our text, let see three types of wisdom.
1. Demonstrated Wisdom - This would be the wisdom which people naturally see in you. Perhaps you have an uncanny ability to manage money, resolve a conflict, or something else. People are always on the lookout for the wise so we can ask questions, glean counsel, and secure advice.
a. Analysis - Who is actually wise and understanding among you? It would seem that James may be 'baiting' the listening crowd just a bit with this question. Remember this letter was first read to Jewish followers, meeting in a synagogue, led by elders, and were a part of the dispersion. Just the word dispersion reminds us that they were, in all likelihood, under persecution for their beliefs. I wonder if, in the initial reading, that the readers stopped at this moment to allow the crowd to answer. My inquiry continues when I think about those who may have 'raised their hand' or spoke up to prove their wisdom. I wonder how those who spoke up felt when James had not asked a rhetorical question, but a very practical one in which he answered! Think about James' chosen words. He didn't say the wise person should "tell you" how wise he is; rather he should SHOW you how wise He is.
b. Attributes - James now gives the attributes, the characteristics, or the qualities of wisdom listing two; Good Conduct and the Wi ...

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