- Choosing a Life of Wisdom
- Glorifying God in Mundane Tasks
- Sharing Wisdom
- Growing in Wisdom through Proverbs
- The Details of Life
- Cultivating Character
- Watching Your Words
- Living as Salt and Light
- Satisfaction in God
- Hope in God
- Made for Eternity
- Hoping in God’s Promises
- Immersed in Glory and Beauty
- Glory in the Diversity of Creation
- A Closer Look at Creation
- Lessons from Creation
- The Wisdom Psalms: Training for Eternity
- Psalms 37 and 73: Hope Despite Injustice
- Psalms 119 and 127: A Firm Foundation
- Is This All There Is?
- The Wisdom of Fearing God
- A World that Cannot Satisfy
- An Inverted Value System
- The Wisdom of Pursuing Christ
- The Wisdom of James
- Living a Life of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
James inverts the world’s value system. He tells us to rejoice in trials (James 1:2), to be quick to hear and slow to speak (v. 19), to have a spirit of meekness (v. 21), and even to boast about the ways God exalts the humble and humiliates the proud (vv. 9–10).
Doers of the Word (James 1)
In these inversions, James reveals the stark contrast between the way of the Word and the way of the world. If we do not actively allow the Word of God to shape our hearts and reveal our hidden inclinations, the world will define us by default. That is why James insists that we become “doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22 NASB).
How can we obey James’s instruction? Here is an experiment you can try. For just one day, count up the time you spend getting your information from the world (watching the news, browsing the internet, social media, etc.). Then challenge yourself to match each minute you spent doing that with a minute spent in the Word. If you were able to that for one day, see if you can continue this practice for the following days as well.
This experiment may seem like an impossible task at first, given the amount of media we consume on a daily basis. But the idea is that eventually we can displace much of our time invested in the world with time in the Word. With this regular exposure to the Word, our natural temporal outlook will give way to an eternal one. And suddenly we will see the anxieties that once consumed us in their proper perspective.
Two Kinds of Wisdom (James 3:13–18)
James continues to contrast the Word and the world by describing two kinds of wisdom—wisdom from above and wisdom from below. Wisdom from above is “pure,” “peaceable,” and results in good works (James 3:17). Wisdom from below, on the other hand, revolves around jealousy and selfish ambition (vv. 14–16).
Worldly wisdom can lead to nothing but division, arrogance, and folly. And our natural inclination is to subtly succumb to this kind of living. Therefore, we must allow the Word to replace the mindset of the world, and the only way to have the strength to do this is to look regularly to the Word to inform all that we hear and do in this world.
Watch more of Ken Boa’s Friday morning study videos here.
Looking to spend more time in the Word? Try utilizing Ken Boa’s Handbook to Renewal.