Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. (ESV)
When I was a child I used to love to watch the Three Stooges. They would have to be the definition of the opposite of wisdom. Every foolish blunder was funny to watch. The foolish things they did, however, did not just affect the one making the mistake. Each of them were affected by the foolish deeds of the others.
James is talking to the church. He is promoting the idea of being wise and understanding. In a church situation wisdom and understanding is vital, yet in many ways it is lacking. Some people have titles of authority, yet they use it to bully others. Instead of acting godly, some people in the church treat others like Mo treated Larry and Curly.
Who is wise and understanding? It should be shown by their good conduct. James makes the point that wisdom is not something that someone should just hold within themselves, while they quietly ponder all the mysteries of the world. Wisdom and understanding are to be put into practice in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ.
God has gifted all of us with different things. Some have truly been given wisdom. They have an ability to discern that which is right, and to reject falsehood. Gifts like wisdom need to be used in the context of the body of Christ. A person who has such a gift can make a choice to either be wise in their actions, or to be a "wise guy" like one of the Stooges.
Do you consider yourself wise? How are you using the wisdom that God has given you to be a blessing to the body of Christ? Are you wise? Or a wise guy?
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