James wrote with authority the truth about jealous and selfish ways. In the early years of his life, he probably related very well to these attributes. But when he wrote this epistle, he had grown in maturity and spiritual wisdom.
For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:16
In this context, he made a comparison of jealousy and selfishness with wisdom and understanding. He started this conversation with the following verse.
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13
The picture painted in this verse consists of an unbroken circle. It begins with wisdom and understanding, then moves to live an honorable life.
It continues with good works done in humility. Then goes back around to wisdom. This circle of life is a goal for each of us to live by.
Next, James laid out for us the opposite of the circle he had just drawn for us. He did it without any sugar-coating at all.
But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. James 3:14-15
The definition of the word jealousy in the Bible means this. Jealousy at its heart is discontent and selfishness. It also carries with it, envy.
The Truth About Why Jealous and Selfish Ways Are Not Good
According to what James said, it is far from God’s wisdom. We know what it isn’t. And James spelled out for us in the second half of verse 15 what it is.
Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. James 3:15
Our verse for today explained it this way. Jealousy and selfishness produce disorder and evil. The New Passion Translation gives it a more practical sound.
So wherever jealousy and selfishness are uncovered, you will also find many troubles and every kind of meanness. James 3:16 TPT
We can’t stop at this point and James didn’t either. He ended this chapter on a positive note. First, he mentioned what wisdom is.
- But the wisdom from above is . . .
- first of all pure.
- It is also peace loving,
- gentle at all times, and
- willing to yield to others.
- It is full of mercy and
- the fruit of good deeds.
- It shows no favoritism and
- is always sincere. James 3:17
James then ended this chapter with the law of sowing and reaping.
And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
The challenge he left for us is this. Get into the circle that starts and ends with wisdom from above while being a peacemaker.
A Related Post
Here is a related post that you will enjoy. How To Let The Holy Spirit Lead Your Life.
Lord, search our hearts to see there is no jealousy or selfishness in us. Help us to live in the circle of your wisdom with each of its attributes flowing out from us.
Take time to read the entire chapter of James 3.
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Republished from http://www.ramckinley.com.