Two Kinds of Wisdom

One of the most meaningful moments in our lives would be when we fall in love with someone. Your eyes are opened to what seems like a new world. The world you have lived in for a long time suddenly begins to look different. You feel warm, connected, and happy. You are becoming more generous and positive. You feel more passion and energy. There would be a lot of changes in your view, words, and attitudes.

So, when your friends fall in love with someone, you can easily notice it because you can sense a lot of similar changes in their views and behaviors. There is one common source behind all of these changes. That is love in their hearts. What they think, what they say, and what they do are all reflections of their heart filled with love.

About 10 years ago, when I was on my way back home after work from church, someone on a wheelchair stopped me on 33 Avenue, close from here. He didn’t explain why he was left alone there but wanted to use my cell phone to call his family to get help from them. I let him use my cell phone and kept some distance from him for his privacy while he was talking with his family.

I saw him shouting in anger as he was talking with his family. It was not my intention, but I happened to hear a lot of painful words and expressions that he was using. I didn’t know his full story but could sense his anguish, frustration, and anger from his facial expressions and words. He was carrying a very heavy burden in his heart.

Our Words and Deeds Are Reflections of Our Hearts
Every word we say, every thought we think, and every deed we do reflect what is happening inside of us. They are all coming out based on what is in our hearts.

In James 3:11-12, he says this.
James 3:11-12
11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

What James is saying here is, ‘what comes out of the spring is what is in the spring. Your words and deeds reflect what your heart is full of.’ When we carefully examine our words and deeds, we can see what is happening inside of us.

As Christians, all of us want to live a full life that Jesus has invited us to live. Even though no one is able to live a perfect life yet, we are on the journey towards that direction. If you see something that is not right in your words, deeds, or thoughts, that may mean there is something that is not right inside of you.

Two Kinds of Wisdom
We need to ask God to reveal what our real issues are in our hearts and where the issues are rooted in. In today’s scripture passages, James is talking about two kinds of wisdom: true wisdom and false wisdom.

James 3:13-18
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

False Wisdom (Earthly Wisdom)
It says, false wisdom comes from this world, and true wisdom comes from Heaven.
Let’s see what the source of this false wisdom is, and where it started.

In Matthew 4, Jesus was tested in the wildness after He fasted for forty days and forty nights. The devil was tempting Jesus in three ways. One of them is this.

Matthew 4:8-9
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Did you get what Satan wants? He wants to be worshipped and served. In other words, He wants to play God.

James 2:19 says, ‘You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.’

Christians believe that there is one God. The demons also believe that there is one God. Then, what is the difference between them? Christians are called to live for God and His glory and worship Him. Satan is the opposite. He doesn’t live for God. He lives for himself and wants to be worshipped rather than worshipping God.

What James says here is, ‘if you say you believe in God but do not live for Him but live for yourself, that is the way Satan lives.’

In the Garden of Eden, he tempted Eve by causing the same desire in her heart as Him. He said, ‘when you eat from the tree, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.’ Satan tempted Eve to become like Him in terms of her heart and desire to become like God and to be worshipped. Satan is tempting us in the same way today. Satan is the source of false wisdom. Let’s think more about False Wisdom.

False Wisdom Is Earthly
James says false wisdom is earthly. False wisdom says this to you:
You are here on earth by chance, so there is no true value or meaning to your life. Someday, you will die and be forgotten forever. Death would be the end of everything for you. There is no eternal life and nothing beyond the grave. That means you have only one life on earth.

You don’t know when the last day of your life will be. So, you should pursue and indulge in every desire as much as you can. Don’t worry too much about morality or your conscience. Your benefit or interest is the most important. Do whatever you can do, to get what you want.

False Wisdom Is Unspiritual
False wisdom is unspiritual. False wisdom says this to you:
There is no God, or if you believe God exists, you can still live without Him. You can ignore what He says. Instead, you can pursue your own desire, plan, or what you want throughout your life.

False Wisdom Is Demonic
False wisdom is demonic. False wisdom says this to you:
You are the owner of your life and have control in it. Your life would be so much better without God. You can decide as you want because you deserve to be the center of your life. You are a God of your life.

Consequences of Pursuing False Wisdom
As a result of how widespread false wisdom is, people in this world are all self-centered and focus on attaining what they want for their only life here on Earth. Everyone has false wisdom, and it is inevitable for them to compete and fight each other every day to obtain what they want.

This world values us based on how educated we are, how much money we earn, what position we have in society, what skills and knowledge we have, what house we live in, what human networks we have, and more. This world is discriminating people based on these kinds of standards.

So, every day, we are competing against each other to survive, to keep what I have, to get what I want, or to beat others to get more or to feel superiority. We are constantly compared with others or our competitors. You want others to acknowledge how you are good. You want them to look up to you or to admire you in what you are doing. In other words, you kind of want to be worshipped, because it is an affirmation of your value to others.

If I lose, I will be less valued or replaced by someone who has outperformed me. You may be valued or praised by others at some point, but no one can continue at their best.

Our conditions or life situations keep changing, and all of us are aging. There is no exception. Someday, anyone can face challenges to be discriminated or replaced by others based on the worldly standard. Our life in this world is restless and tiring.

So, when you see someone is doing better than you, someone has what you don’t have, or someone looks better than you, if you are tempted to judge the person or lose peace in your heart, your heart may be rooted in false wisdom at that moment.

James says in verse 14 and 15, ‘if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.’

And James added this one, ‘For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.’ That is why we see disorder, chaos, and every evil practice in our society and in this world every day.

Do you want to sense more clearly how much false wisdom is destructive for us? Let’s imagine this for moment: what if this false wisdom is applied to our family. Parents treat their kids differently based on their achievements at school. Kids need to continue to prove how valuable they are to their parents.

Children honor their parents differently based on their abilities. A husband keeps trying to make his marriage about him, about his needs, or his desire. Family members argue or fight each other because of their envy or selfish ambition.

Every family member is thinking based on what they need and what they can get from parents or children or spouse. It is just an imagination, but it is already too painful. False wisdom is really toxic to us.

If you see something that is not right in your words, deeds, or thoughts, you need to ask God to reveal what is inside of you and get help from the Lord.

True Wisdom (Heavenly Wisdom)
The Lord Jesus had a compassion on us and has become the source of true wisdom for us. In verse 17, James begins to talk about heavenly wisdom.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Heavenly wisdom begins when we accept what Jesus did on the cross for us and believe and humbly accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He made a way for us to reconcile with our heavenly father who is the source of true wisdom.

Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness and transforms us from the inside out through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our perspective, thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes would be rooted in heavenly wisdom.

This morning, Sainjon family accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and were baptized. And we celebrated His love and grace for the family together. Heavenly wisdom begins in Sainjon family.

We are children of God. He chose us not based on our education, ability, appearance, or performance, but by His grace. My identity as His child is rooted in my relationship with the Lord. No one can change or steal that. This changes everything.

We don’t need to compete or fight each other anymore. We don’t need to prove our worth to anyone. We don’t need to be the center of our lives and get overwhelmed. So, now we can freely love each other and use our gifts to do good things for others. We can freely share what we have.

We can be free from fear, anxiety, or worries. When someone has achieved great success, you can truly bless and celebrate it with the person. Heavenly wisdom would change your life and community from inside out.

That is why James says, ‘Heavenly wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.’

Send Out Your Roots by the Everlasting Stream
The source of false wisdom is Satan who wants to play God and to be worshipped and who continues to tempt us to have the same mindset as Him. He is causing disorder and chaos in your life and in this world through false wisdom.

You should always be aware of what you are thinking, saying, and doing, to know what is happening inside of you. When you notice that you are tempted by false wisdom, you need to ask God for help. In James 1:5, he says ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.’

Let me close with this scripture passages.
Jeremiah 17:8
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

The source of heavenly wisdom is Jesus. Send out your roots by the everlasting stream, Jesus, the source of heavenly wisdom. You won’t be shaken in any challenging situations. Your leaves would be always green, and the Holy Spirit would let you bear His fruits in your life.

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