A short note, reflecting on what God has to say about wisdom, particularly in light of yesterday’s post.
… 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 3:17-18
God’s wisdom is centred in peace, not aggression. It’s impartial, not personal. It is gentle, not harsh. It is merciful and open to reason, not closed and unforgiving. And it’s full of fruit, “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control; against such things there is no law. “(Galatians 5:22-23) Plus it is sincere; given in love.
If you’re looking for His wisdom and have any uncertainty about whether it is from Him or not, His Word gives very clear signs by which to recognise it.
For my own part it’s not just about the wisdom I receive but that which I give, too. These are the standards set that, when I’m imparting wisdom, I must live up to.
“… A wise person stays calm when insulted.” Proverbs 12:16
This verse was highlighted to me by UCB’s Word for the Day (a great daily devotional, subscribe here)
I’d not come across this verse before, but it really reminded me of how God breaks our cycle of hurt and revenge and how He gives us the power and choice to do the same.
When we are insulted (or at the very least, criticised) it’s all to easy to lash out in defence of ourselves, a move which can often inflame a situation. Often a simple comment can escalate into a full-blown argument because of the initial response. The apostle James references this proverb when he writes about how to live properly, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20)
By slowing down, and thinking about a response, rather than reacting to a painful comment (however hurtful, critical or insulting) we can stop that cycle of escalation before it even starts.
That’s what struck me about God breaking our cycles of hurt & revenge – responding to a hurtful comment with another one etc. He gives us the opportunity to forgive, and in that moment be wise, by understanding the consequences of a retort based in hurt. He gives us the power of forgiveness, of foregoing that pain and letting it pass by, rather than fuelling it.
That power is the power of the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made, to take the brunt of the world’s sins and bring about their forgiveness. That sacrifice is the ultimate cycle-breaker.
This verse made me remember that we have the power to break the cycle of hurt and revenge too.