Article updated on December 5th, 2017
It takes wisdom to live life. Wisdom and self control brings about a little more peace each day. Do you struggle with self control? We all do. It takes wisdom to know when to hold our tongue. It takes wisdom to not action too quickly in decision making. Without wisdom and self control our lives would be in a mess. While we cannot live a perfect life, we can live a more spiritually mature life. These are my simple thoughts without theology on James 3.
Simple Thoughts Without Theology
Living a (Spiritually Mature) Perfect Life
James 3:1-2 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
The word PERFECT, means spiritual maturity. We need to work at being spiritually mature by keeping our actions and words under control.
James 3:3-4 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
These verses show that everything has to have some control. Without this control our world would be in total chaos.
James 3:5-6 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Our tongue is a small member of our body but yet it can do some great things. The word great doesn’t necessarily always mean wonderful. All it takes is a little “spark” to start a forest fire. That forest fire can be two things ~ Something to glorify God. One word or sentence can be used to start a heart beat in someone to serve the Lord. Or something destructive – one word or sentence can ruin a person or a situation for life. Sadly, most of the time that little spark is on a path of destruction and it is going to destroy everything that is in its path. Have you ever seen the effects of a forest fire? When we lived in western Montana we did all the time. It takes years for what has been destroyed to begin new growth. It can take years to heal what our tongue has destroyed.
James 3:7-9 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
James 3:10-12 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Man has a better chance of taming and training an animal than he does his own tongue. A scary thought ~ We use our tongue to praise the Lord and the next minute that same tongue is being used to tear apart someone. God did not intend for our tongue to be used in this manner. When He created us, we were made to give Him praise and honor. Unfortunately, we have allowed our flesh to take control over this one small thing in our lives. There are many things in our lives that we can control, but our tongue is normally not on that list.
James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
I’ve met several people with countless degrees. They were well educated and knew how to do many things. Sadly, some of them were not wise. We can have all the diplomas hanging on the wall, all the little degree initials behind our name, and we can quote countless facts, but those things don’t make us wise. True wisdom ~ is shown in our lives. How we live, talk, and handle situations show how wise we really are.
James 3:14-15 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
These are the characteristics of earthly wisdom. The kind that we as Christians need to stay away from. Glory not – that’s boasting. We don’t have to boast about our wisdom, it will be known by others. Self glorying will only make people to not like you and want to be around you.
James 3:16-18 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Have you ever been a room where there is a lot of commotion going on? Can you find peace and quiet there? No, the same goes when we are trying to sort our problems in our lives and Satan brings on some of his best work ~ Confusion. Sometimes that confusion causes us to make a wrong decision. We need to be aware of what he is doing and really focus on the Lord. When we have wisdom that comes from God, we don’t have to worry; He is going to work according to His will. And if we really trust in Him, then when what we think of as a bad outcome happens, we can hold our heads high and know that He did it. Just think, that kind of wisdom is Pure, Peaceable, Gentle, Good, Merciful, has Good Rewards, No Favoritism, Not Hypocritical, any Christian can have it. For us to have peace, we have to plant peace (be peaceable), then let God do the rest.
No, life is not easy. But it can be a little easier if we only use the wisdom God gives and use our self control in situations. If you missed the two previous posts for Simple Thoughts Without Theology you can find James 1 and James 2 at these links. Join me next week when I continue Simple Thoughts Without Theology in the fourth chapter of James.