Am I displaying the wisdom of God? Wisdom isn't merely knowledge, it's knowledge applied. James implores us to examine the outcome, the fruit, to determine who is wise.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:13-18 ESV
The wisdom of man leads to death, but the wisdom of God leads to life.
"But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic"
Jealousy and selfish ambition are the results of me focus. They are not the only results, but these are more traits which James points to to help us to identify and turn to God. James tells us that if we are experiencing these results, not to hide it and be false to the truth.
It's easy to say I'm not jealous, selfish, ambitious, but what does the result of that look like in our hearts?
Do you find yourself ever angry about what someone else received?
Do you find it difficult to celebrate the success of others, or even just someone specific?
Do you find yourself designing how you will get something, apart from what God is leading, or something He has explicitly said No to at this time?
Do you see manipulation?
Do you find you have a lack of peace or anxiety?
Do you find yourself lusting-desiring after other things or people?
Do I see?
“Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.” John 9:39-41 NLT
James implores us not to pretend like we can see, when we cannot in fact see. He implores us not to cover up our jealousy and areas of darkness, which ultimately leads to even worse strife. For if like Jesus says, we can admit that we cannot see and turn to Jesus (repent) then we find freedom. We find grace. This is real wisdom. This is the path to REAL freedom.
Not looking with human eyes upon ourselves, but allowing the reflection of God drive us to Him. When we do, we allow the grace to flow in. But it's hard for me to admit that I display these qualities. I don't want to admit (and certainly not people to see) that I do at times get jealous.
Those who know Jesus are called to be representatives of heaven. I cannot display heaven to people while I'm filled with Hell. That may sound harsh, but listen to the words James uses to describe it "demonic". That's a harsh word, and it's the reality. I can only display spirit things, heavenly things, heaven to people, while I am filled with that. While I am recognizing my own blindness, my own lostness, and turning that all over to Jesus and having the wisdom to just merely admit and ask for His wisdom to flow in, and continue to do this. It sounds so easy, and yet it is so hard. It's so easy to revert back to my-self. My desires, me on the throne, instead of God on the throne. When I see "the wrong" person get that thing, that promotion, I am tempted to jealously and placing me on the throne to manipulate to get the thing that I want. Resist, by admission, resist by turning to Jesus, resist by confession, submit to God and watch as you begin to reap peace.
We sow heaven when that is what is filling us, and as we sow heavenly things, we begin to experience heaven around us, even in hell like circumstances. This is the fruit of the wisdom of God.