Over the past few years, I have often been faced with the decision of when to speak and when not to. Prior to mothering, I worked in a Christian School, where teachers gathered each morning, shared a devotion and prayed together. It was a thing of beauty. But it was also a time where doctrinal differences often surfaced. For the sake of love and unity, we tried not to major on the minors, and instead focused on Jesus and our ministry of training children to love and serve Jesus. Recently though, listening to “Word-Based Ministry” by Nancy Guthrie, I was challenged that sometimes true love is talking to a friend or questioning their interpretation of the Bible. After all, we are called to encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13) and have the Word of God dwelling in us to encourage, teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16).

This morning, in James, I read “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13). So what is wisdom? How is a person wise? The Bible tells us that wisdom is firstly fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10) and then it is knowing and doing God’s Word (Deuteronomy 4:5-6). We are told that a wise man builds his house on the Word of the Lord (Matthew 7:24). We are also told that God’s Word makes wise the simple (Psalm 19:7). So if we are to be wise, we fear the Lord and we read, hear and do His Word. 

Proverbs 3:13-24 (beautiful and well worth the read!) tells us wisdom and understanding are beautiful things we are to pursue. It is more precious that rubies and brings peace, blessing, safety and security. When we are reading, meditating, trusting in God and His Word, we are secure in our knowledge and understanding of Him and have a firm foundation for our lives. 

So then, in James 3:13, how do we show meekness? Often I hear this word and in the English dictionary it refers to humility but there is also a sense of weakness about it. In the Bible, according to the Strongs Concordance, it says “Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.” In James 3:13, the Greek word used for ‘meekness’ is a derivative of this original form. It also means a a gentle strength brought about by reliance on God’s Word and direction:  “For the believer, meekness (4240 /praýtēs, “gentle-force”) begins with the Lord’s inspiration and finishes by His direction and empowerment. It is a divinely-balanced virtue that can only operate through faith (cf. 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22-25) (Strongs Concordance). 

If we are to show true wisdom and understanding, we are to walk day-by-day with a gentle strength brought about by fearing God and loving and knowing His Word. As we rely on the Holy Spirit within us, our actions will then involve living out God’s Word. Sometimes this will mean gently and loving correcting a brother or sister, recognising that we are growing together in the love and knowledge of our Saviour Jesus. For knowledge, understanding and love of God and His Word is TRUE WISDOM. 

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