“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.-{James 3;13-14}.

Wisdom’s behavior is expressed in “good behavior,”…”gentleness of wisdom.”

“Works done in meekness/Gentle deeds – Gentleness, In James day it meant “bringing a high-spirited horse under control. The spirit & strength of the horse weren’t lost, simply harnessed. Gentleness also referred to a brilliant teacher who could debate others without getting angry. It also referred to a soothing medicine that brought comfort to a painful wound,

Wisdom so far then doesn’t mean a high I.Q.; or your ability to pack away facts; or your impressive eloquence.

The test of wisdom is a life that is patterned after the truth & is under control!”-{Brian Bell.}

People desire to have and more importantly be known to have a reputation of being wise. And being wiser than others as it feeds their ego and delusion of self grandeur. But that is not Godly wisdom.

“Wisdom is not measured by degrees but deeds, It is not a matter of acquiring truth in lectures but of applying truth to life.”- {Thomas Constable}


Indeed James asks…

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly,natural, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who e peace”-{James 3;17-18}

“For the Lord gives wisdom,and from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding  “-{Prov 2;6}. To be truly wise you get God’s Wisdom from Him through His Word! ” …but all of you who held fast to the Lord your God are still alive today. See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it.  Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”  {Deut 4:4-6}

Wisdom is the ability to skillfully judge correctly and follow the best course of action based on knowledge and understanding. Biblical wisdom is skill for living. Godly wisdom.

“James 3:13–18 questions our concept of who is wise and understanding. James quickly answers: the truly wise, understanding person is one whose faith in God leads to selfless good works. Wise people live in the humility of wisdom, setting themselves aside to serve others. That’s not worldly wisdom, which leaves each person responsible to serve him- or herself first. Earthly attitudes are driven by envy for what others have, and an ambition to take it. The result is disorder and evil instead of the peace, gentleness, and mercy that follow from living by heaven’s wisdom.”-{Bible Reference}


Notice what James says. He says, “Who is wise and understanding? By his good conduct…” Literally translated this says, “By his lovely life.”

I read an account of a man who was in California and he had a chance to meet a church planter in San Diego who was planting a church in the second-most populated homosexual area in the state of California which is downtown San Diego, right behind San Francisco. And one of the things that his church did was that they had this great motto that stuck with me as soon as he said it. His motto for his church was, “Christianity is not just true, it’s beautiful.”

This is what James is saying that is TRUE. It’s God’s Word; James is saying when we have this GENTLENESS. MEEKNESS that results from a WISE LIFE  is attractive, is beautiful. Indeed we can see what a beautiful life God’s Wisdom produces in an individual.


Wisdom from Above is Characterized by these eight words, PICTURES.

Wisdom From above on “SHOW…”

The word “SHOW,” speaks of “to bring to light, to display, for others to see.” -{  Benfield}}

1. PURE – {hagn}. In context it is speaking of being free from any bitter envy, jealousy or selfish ambition. 

This is not the usual word for pure, holy{hagios}. This word has to do with  spiritual integrity, moral sincerity. Unlike the wisdom from below whose origins are from Hell, it is devoid of bitterness, envy, selfish ambition, arrogance, evil of every kind..

This word is used of the LORD Jesus in 1 John 3:3 , He is pure and the pattern for all purity to follow. Even the believer in Romans 7 says they do the thing THEY DON’T WANT to do…Their heart desire is  to love God, know God, do his will, follow Him and obey his Word. The new heart has with it new desires and they hate sin and long for all that is for what is true, lovely holy, good. Their motivation is coming from a new place, a work that God has and is doing in their heart that influences the way they think, the desires they have and the deeds that come forth reflect the wisdom that comes from above as they seek to live their like empowered by the Holy Spirit to live skillfully in alignment with His Word. It is not perfection but a new direction in their motivation as the pattern for their thinking and doing!

This has to do with MOTIVE. Pure motive in the desire to know and do God’s will. Love Him, serve Him, Honor, Glorify Him. There is no mixed motives. Without any mixture. “The Greek word means to be unmixed, unalloyed, or untainted by any impurity. It may point to moral purity, but in the context here, it especially has the sense of being free from any jealousy or selfish ambition. In other words, it is focusing on our motives. If we seek wisdom so that we can lord it over others, or use it for our own advantage or power, it is not pure, godly wisdom. Our motive for seeking wisdom or for using wisdom must always be to glorify God and to build up the person to whom we are speaking.”-{Steven Cole}

“THEN” – {epeita}.What follows is characteristics.

2. PEACEABLE  {eirnikos,}- “what pertains to peace, i.e. God’s gift of wholeness which results from knowing (discerning) the Lord’s will and obeying it.”{Strongs}

It is the opposite of the strife, discord, confusion, chaos and selfish ambition that he has mentioned. Peace loving. Peace promoting.  Matt hew 5;9 says “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.” It is not strife or self promoting, jealous, bitter, arrogant but pursuing peace with all as much as is within them. It comes from eirḗnē (from eirō, “to join, tie together into a whole) – properly, wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God’s gift of wholeness).”-{Strongs Concordance.}

It is “wholesome.”

It’s basic meaning is peace in our relationships. Person to person and with God.

Peace comes through the cross and Peace is a Person. So there is the sharing and showing of the Cross and the LORD Jesus as the means to peace. “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.” -{Isaiah 26:3}.

Peaceable in our relationships, not stirring up trouble. IT DOES NOT MEAN COMPROMISING Truth, but peace between God and a person and person to person.

3. GENTLE– “Sweet reasonableness.” It is the ability to  give to others the kind consideration we would like others to treat us with/

Considerate, forbearing… {Read Phil 4:5}

Literally, the word means “someone who is not quick to demand anything.” This person is not demanding, to get but seeking to give to others.

“The man who is epieikes is the man who knows when it is actually wrong to apply the strict letter of the law. He knows how to forgive when strict justice gives him a perfect right to condemn… It is impossible to find an English word to translate this quality. Matthew Arnold called it ‘sweet reasonableness’ and it is the ability to extend to others the kindly consideration we would wish to receive ourselves.” (Barclay)

“…the word “indicates a willingness to yield to others and a corresponding unwillingness ‘to exact strict claims’.” It is a quality that Jesus possessed (2 Cor. 10:1), and it is a requirement for elders in the local church (1 Tim. 3:3). “{Douglas Moo}. Paul uses it to describe the LORD Jesus, “Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ…”-{2 Cor 10:1}

4. REASONABLE,YIELDING, PLIABLE- {Eupeiths} -“ready to obey.}

Eupeithes can mean easy to persuade, not in the sense of being pliable and weak, but in the sense of not being stubborn and of being willing to listen to reason and to appeal… true wisdom is not rigid but is willing to listen and skilled in knowing when wisely to yield.” (Barclay)

Willing to yield to others, not stubborn. Willing to listen and skilled in wisdom knowing when to yield. A Willingness to listen to reason and to appeals. It does not mean being weak, but it does mean the opposite of being stubborn, disobedient, obstinate- {stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.}. It’s used of someone who submits to military orders. Also it is used of someone who submits to Legal  and moral standards in life and willingly submits.

It’s “reasonable”; or “submissive” (NIV). The idea of easily being persuaded, not stubborn, but being willing to yield when shown to be wrong. God’s wisdom means you can be shown where you are wrong and the response to yield willingly when shown to be true!

This is the idea of being easily persuaded and being willing to yield when shown that one is in the wrong. Imagine! True wisdom means you can be shown where you are wrong!

Yielding to reason and appeal. Doesn’t have to be “right” all the time! They are teachable, submissive, compliant, yielding. Yielding is a good word.


The Greeks viewed it as pity for a person who was suffering, But Christianity views it as more.

It has to do with a genuine concern with those who are suffering, and ACT upon that concern. “mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.”- {Thayer’s}.

“The word used here actually has a double meaning: forgiving those who wrong us, but then being willing in our hearts to help them. “-{Youssef}. People may say, “they made their bed and now they can lay in it!” In other words they have brought the trouble on themselves and they are on their own. Serves them right, type of attitude! But if God had adopted that attitude towards us none of us could have been recipients of His mercy, as we have brought so much on ourselves. Our sins of omission, what we should have done and didn’t. Sins of commission, sins we have done. “But God being RICH IN MERCY, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),”-{Eph 2:3-5}

” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His GREAT MERCY has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” -{1 Peter 1:3-4}. God showed mercy to us, the miserable in sin, our own sin, our own doing, He did not say, “you have made your bed now lie in it.” For if He had we would still be dead in our sin, hopelessly and helplessly bound, “But God…”

It is compassion towards those in need. It is others orientated not self seeking but seeking to alleviate and help others in need.

Showing compassion to one who is suffering through no fault of their own BUT ALSO showing compassion to one who has caused their own suffering!

Matthew 5 ;7 -“Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.”

 Merciful is the evidence of a changed life. A life that God is transforming. A Compassionate concern for others. The desire and indeed the meeting of needs as seen in 1 John 3:16-18

” We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

 Eph 4:28 -“He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

” A Christian sees a person in need and helps them. It is not mere pity and ending there but it is manifested in action. It is practical. “We can never say that we have truly pitied anyone until we have helped him.”-{Barclay}

True wisdom is not callous, indifferent, unhelpful, but goes towards the hurting with the purpose to help elevate their pain.

Helpful, considerate, compassionate. Others orientated!

6. GOOD FRUITS. – { agathós }

good deeds of various types and kinds! It is not just talk but actions of mercy and more! There is Fruit as the evidence in a person’s life. “James 3:13–18 questions our concept of who is wise and understanding. James quickly answers: the truly wise, understanding person is one whose faith in God leads to selfless good works. Wise people live in the humility of wisdom, setting themselves aside to serve others. That’s not worldly wisdom, which leaves each person responsible to serve him- or herself first. Earthly attitudes are driven by envy for what others have, and an ambition to take it. The result is disorder and evil instead of the peace, gentleness, and mercy that follow from living by heaven’s wisdom. ” –

Good works, seeking to serve others is part of wisdom. The world seeks to serve self primarily… James addresses this…

“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.“- {James 1:26}

” Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world  “- {James 1:27} ” If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that ” -{James 2:15-16}.

God’s Wisdom produces good fruit! Demonic, humanistic wisdom produces that which is eternally worthless.

7. UNWAVERING -(adiakritos)

” indistinguishable, without uncertainty“- {Strongs}. This wisdom knows it’s own mind and chooses the path to walk in, in accordance with God’s Word.

It is undivided in it’s commitment! Sincere, true hearted in the commitment to God, no vacillating. Impartial. In James 2 James spoke about those who showed partiality, favoring the rich over the poor and how it was not to be! It is unwavering, no partiality but impartial, commited.

“The word is used only here in the New Testament. It may mean “impartial” (NIV, ESV, KJV), in the sense of not taking sides based on a party spirit or personal cronyism. But it also may mean “undivided,” in the sense of unwavering loyalty to God. James will hit this in 4:4, where he makes the point that you cannot be a friend of the world and of God at the same time. Godly wisdom does not play politics with the truth, shading it according to personal advantage. Rather, it holds unswervingly to the truth in love. “- {Steven Cole }. It is based on the certainties of the Truth. It  does not vacillate.

8. WITHOUT HYPOCRISY – { anypókritos  }

“to answer on a stage, pretend…” -{Strongs}

The word originally was used by someone acting on a stage, a play actor. It does not pretend to be something they are not to get what they want by means of deception. Hypocrisy is deceptive and has self seeking , selfish ends as it’s objective!

The NIV uses the word “sincere.” There is no pretense.

“These last two words [without partiality and without hypocrisy] rule out the habit of using speech to half reveal and half conceal the mind of the speaker, who has something (as we say) at the back of his mind all the time.” (Moffatt)

Godly wisdom is not like that but is sincere, genuine, trustworthy, transparent. You can rely on them for advice because of their character!

“describing sincere behavior free from hidden agendas (selfish motives) – literally, “without hypocrisy” (unfeigned).”-{ Strongs }

Since all these are found in the life of Christ as He takes residence in our heart, He will produce this in and through us.

James SHOWS us what wisdom looks like in he way it lives. Wisdom from above on Display in a person’s life! Someone can say to another let me SHOW You a wise person… and they can point to…you!

Wisdom is not having a high IQ or the ability to accumulate facts, it is living a life with the characteristics of God’s wisdom in the life  and can be seen and manifested from the youngest believer who is the most uneducated academically to the poorest among us. It is a Spiritual gift from God an work in a life that SHOWS us Wisdom From above…on display!

Not perfection in our performance but a new direction we are manifesting Heavenly Wisdom. You are SHOWING that you have this life in you. There is enough evidence to show you have this in you.

“SHOW AND TELL” You are showing forth and your life is Telling which wisdom dominates, controls you and me. THE WISDOM FROM BELOW OR THE WISDOM FROM ABOVE?

The Result of True Wisdom!


” And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”- v 18

This wisdom has expected results!

Wisdom is equated with righteousness. Right living as God defines His Wisdom! The fruit of God’s wisdom in a life produces right living!

Righteousness will grow only in  a climate of peace!

The eternal good is the goal in relationships and so relationships are important to keep right as long as it is not  a call to compromise His Word and knowingly sin. But otherwise investing your life in relationships that will produce the fruit of a right life with God. The only ones who can reap such lives re those who live such lives and sow into the lives of others. We reap what we sow! “And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. “- v 18. Sowing in righteousness produces more righteousness and this is all done not in bitterness, or jealousy or self seeking arrogant living but in peace and the fruit comes forth as more righteousness and this is done by those who live in peace are peacemakers…this is their environment. They are  not self seeking. But the person who sows demonic wisdom of bitter, jealous, self seeking, disorderly, evil living can not expect to produce righteousness or have peace in their lives! But they will reap what they sow,

True Wisdom is practical and PRODUCES, results in Right Living!

Having God’s Wisdom does not mean we understand everything that is happening around us but it does mean we have the ability to do what is right.

” Here’s what he’s saying. Genuine faith leading to genuine wisdom always produces results. And what does he mean by peace? Well, James is a Jewish guy and the word for peace here doesn’t really capture what’s behind that word. We think of peace simply as the opposite of strife, but what James is after here is the wonderful Hebrew concept of “shalom,” which does include peace but it’s more than that. It’s wholeness, it’s everything right for a second in this fallen world; it’s a life that is integrated and full and all things make sense, even if just for a second. Have you got those places in your life where you’ve experienced that? Maybe at the birth of a child? Maybe on your wedding day? Maybe when you’re out by yourself? Maybe a walk on the beach? Whatever it is, you’ve experienced that where things are just right for one second and everything is whole. And the whole point of wholeness is that it’s temporary here but there’s a day coming when that shalom will reign throughout the universe. And James says, as Christians who live in this meekness of wisdom, this meekness that produces wisdom, we can have a foretaste of that in our lives.”- {Gabe Fluhrer}

Can you imagine a home, marriage, family where this wisdom is on display or a congregation, how BEAUTIFUL and BENEFICIAL such a life is to those around them. It is Christ like!

This Wisdom from God is on “SHOW” in relationships!

IN BETWEEN? It is possible you know the LORD but have been leaning to your own understanding in doing business and the lines are blurred, a little of God’s wisdom mixed with the worlds wisdom and  there is no clear demarcation. God’s people are to be clearly marked by wisdom from another place, indeed Heavenly wisdom versus demonic wisdom. Have a look again what you are “SHOWING?” and where need be repent of sin and begin afresh knowing you have His wisdom gifted to you at the moment of conversion-{Read 1 cor 1:30}…and He gives wisdom to those who ask in faith {Read James 1:5} and you can do business the Kingdom business way as your lifestyle shows forth His wisdom at work in you producing a right lifestyle from god’s perspective.


Thank Him for His provision of His Word to reveal this wisdom,  Thank Him for His Spirit to enlighten you to it and empower you for it. Thank Him for His Son who contains all the wisdom you need to skillfully live in a right way in navigating through life to HIS Honor.

Perhaps write out James 3:17-18 on a 3 by 5 card and place on a bathroom mirror so you can see it when you brush your teeth in the morning and evening.  As you read it focus on word for word, phrase for phrase and as you have free moments throughout the day train your mind to think on the words, phrases you are memorizing and mediating upon. If you read it twice a day in a month that is approx 60 times and before you know it, you will have memorized it and the Holy Spirit can use in your life to teach, remind you when tempted the right choices in thinking and doing as you display God’s wisdom in your living skillfully in each and every circumstance you find yourself in.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, … “- {Ephesians 5;15}. We have been Gifted God’s wisdom to skillfully live our lives in a right way. We have the Holy Spirit to teach us. if we lack wisdom we have only to ask in faith and He will gladly give it to us {Read James 1:5}.

 “SHOW And TELL.” Show by the way we live and our lives will tell we are the people who possess God’s wisdom, which is seen in right living according to his WORD! Since we have God’s wisdom now live it out “SHOW” you have it by displaying it!

Such is the Pattern, Practice of Wisdom from Above that God gifts. It is on “SHOW” and “SHOW’S” forth in a life that is directly opposed to the wisdom of the world!


Where as you contrast Godly wisdom with earthly wisdom which is characterized by jealousy, selfish ambition, arrogance, lies against the truth, earthly, natural demonic, disorder and every evil thing! -{Read James 3:14-16}. To “sow” that type of life in relationships be it at home, school, work, church will produce turmoil, splintered relationships, disorder, chaos of every kind! “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”-{1 Cor 3:19}

GODLY WISDOM is opposed to worldly and demonic wisdom.

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. “