August 31, 2011

Wisdom is Character

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 31, 2011

“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… 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.” James 3:13, 17

Wisdom is much more than knowledge—it is character. In fact, someone can be smart, clever and insightful, but without character there is an absence of authentic wisdom. This heavenly wisdom is marked with the residue of righteousness. Thus, a wise person prays that their character keeps up with their growing wisdom. Integrity validates godly insight.

So, what does a wise person of character look like? They are pure in motive and peace loving in relationships. The wise defer to the needs of others, submit to authority, initiate empathy, bear the fruit of the Spirit, gather all the facts before making a decision and are genuine in their concerns. Wisdom and character are prayer partners in their faith journey.

“Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace” (2 Corinthians 1:12).

Godly wisdom is keenly aware of the need to be consistent in its character. Our persuasive speech falls on deaf ears when it does not have the backing of being a person of honesty and honor. Character gives creditability in conversation—so the recipient listens with eager ears—wanting to follow the instructions of one walking in integrity.

The goal of a growing Christian is not to become a guru that is esteemed with worshipful awe—but rather being a humble servant of Jesus, who is learning from their mistakes and is becoming wise by the grace of God. Furthermore, steward well the Lord’s gift of wisdom, as its design is to be given away on behalf of Him. Leave only your fingerprints of faith on wise advice and trust God to conform others into the image of His son Jesus.

Wise people do not force their beliefs on others—however they allow God’s grace to make them irresistibly attractive by their integrity. Even those without a Christian context for their character, want to learn from someone with a track record of wise decision-making. Wisdom gives you the platform to influence others into a relationship with Jesus. Thus, keep your character submitted to the character of Christ and you will remain wise.

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care” (1 Corinthians 3:10).

How can I wisely allow the Lord to build my character to become more like Christ?

Related Readings: Daniel 12:3; 10; Hosea 14:9; Matthew 24:45; 1 Corinthians 3:18

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  1. Friends,
    The reproduction above of today’s devotional is good. But when I received it in regular e-mail, the lines were too long. Fox example, today I could only see slightly more than half of your first line in my screen frame. Having to scroll back and forth reduces the continuity of my thought. It’s frustrating!

    Thank you for anything you can do to improve this situation!

    Lou Ann Garrett

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