Wisdom from above.
We have all heard the phrase wisdom from above. Or we have heard people cry out in difficult situations “I need wisdom from above”. But what does this phrase mean and where does it come from.
Well, believe it or not in my favourite translation of some of the bible, the passion translation (Dr Brian Simmons has not translated the whole of God’s word yet), in the book of James, it actually has the phrase wisdom from above as a sub heading at the start of verse 13 in chapter 3 of James’ book.
Wisdom from above found in the bible.
13 If you consider yourself to be wise and one who understands the ways of God, advertise it with a beautiful, fruitful[j] life guided by wisdom’s gentleness. Never brag or boast about what you’ve done, and you’ll prove that you’re truly wise. 14 But if there is bitter jealousy or competition hiding in your heart, then don’t deny it and try to compensate for it by boasting and being phony. 15 For that has nothing to do with God’s heavenly wisdom but can best be described as the wisdom of this world, both selfish and devilish. 16 So wherever jealousy and selfishness are uncovered, you will also find many troubles[n] and every kind of meanness.
17 But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form 18 and it always bears the beautiful harvest of righteousness! Good seeds of wisdom’s fruit will be planted with peaceful acts by those who cherish making peace.
What God is teaching us through James here is how to live “healed up”. That’s what wisdom from above looks like.
Sometimes we have to back up!
Let’s back up a bit in this wonderful book of James to get the full context in verse 10 through 12 of chapter 3 in the same book James says this.
“10 Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be!
11–12 Would you look for olives hanging on a fig tree or go to pick figs from a grapevine? Is it possible that fresh and bitter water can flow out of the same spring? So, neither can a bitter spring produce fresh water.”
I’ve swapped the scripture around a bit. So, we can aim from the below to that wisdom from above. So here is my translation from scripture to present day life.
If you boast or brag about your own success, you need to ask yourself why, what are you trying to achieve? The best way to discover the answer to this is to look at what you are boasting about and to whom. If you search this situation or trend in partnership with God, you will discover a current deep realm of healing of your emotional self that will bring life changing freedom and joy to your life.
Esther and my example!
Let me give you Esther and my personal example? We run our own rather weird, but God called and anointed business (don’t live under the foolish belief that, that is an easy meal ticket, it isn’t). God started it with me (that’s a whole other blog) on the day my journey to heavenly salvation began to manifest on earth (another whole other blog) in September 2004. Approaching fifteen years later as I write in June 2019 after much toil and trouble, God has brought us kicking and screaming to a place where He can see how we handle success. Or at least we thought we were handling it well! But low and behold the hurts of the distant past have been meandering and mixing with our recent societal and family rejections.
In both Esther any my childhood lives we grew up mostly without love (with the limited exception of my mother) and also rejection in the form of scorn and condemnation as we (surprise, surprise) were both a bit odd, you know the type? Sweet but a bit crazy. Likely to be shy one minute. And in my case lead the pack into some uncompromisingly dangerous situation, the next. This left us a bit “twisted”.
Fast forward to 2019, after the rejection of childhood and the more recent ridicule that came at us as a result of running an unsuccessful business in a field of conjecture, where most of our peers thought us delusional fools failing to sell snake oil. We are showing signs of success. Renovating our dream home in Cornwall and driving around in top notch luxury cars. People start to pay attention, wanting to understand what’s happening.
So, we have an opportunity to respond to our peer’s inquisitiveness with and from the wisdom of heaven. That would look something like this.
“Yes, we are experiencing the favour of God upon our lives. We are not sure how well we are handling this, as it’s new to us. It’s a luxurious lifestyle, but we are a son and daughter of the king of kings who have experienced difficulty and we try to give out what we can when we can as well as enjoy our blessings from heaven.”
However the tone of our conversations with our former sources of ridicule (until God very recently gently pulled us up) was “ you might not have said so to our faces but we knew you thought us at best idiots and maybe even rip off merchants but we are cleverer than you and always were. Now you fool, look at my fab house and car. And weep”!
We are as you see still on our journey to both holiness and Wholeness. You might be too? Can I recommend the solution to our broken responses? The book of James chapter 3 verse 10 through 18.