WISDOM IS TREATING PEOPLE WELL

thumb-3.phpPlease find my teaching notes to Pt. 2 of Transparent Faith (Book of James), “Wisdom is Treating People Well.”  (c) 2013, Terry Broadwater.

Everyday we relate to many different types of people and problems arise because of personality clashesWHY? “Planting seeds” into people’s lives- “seeds of peace” or “seeds of conflict!”   Whatever I’m planting that’s what I’m harvesting!  CONFLICT?  I’m planting it!  PEACE?  I’m planting seeds of peace!  About how I treat other people!

Jesus said, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you…” Mt. 7:12.  It’s the GOLDEN RULE and it’s RECIPROCAL!

James 3:13-18 13 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. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.  17 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 good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

How do I plant “seeds of peace” and treat other people well?  Ja. 3:13 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.

WISDOM IS A LIFESTYLE!

James ISN’T asking you IF you think you’re wise.  He’s asking you to prove you’re wise BY how you relate to other people!  IF you are wise… PROVE it!

Wisdom??  It’s the practical use of knowledge.  It’s about WORKS, not WORDS!  (A constant theme in the Book of James!)

Wisdom has more to do with character and relationships THAN intelligence and education!  Knowledge can make you haughty, but wisdom humbles you!

LACK OF WISDOM and TOO MUCH PRIDE CAUSES LOTS OF PROBLEMS!

Ja. 3:14-16 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 

Disorder “confusion, chaos, disharmony.”  Is my life a mess, out of control?  Is my family in disharmony?  Then I’m NOT planting seeds of peace NOR using wisdom!

In most cases we GET what we’re GIVING and it’s DANGEROUS!  James says, it’s “earthly, unspiritual, demonic, and evil of every kind!”  Geez!!  Serious stuff!!

James says, “Don’t let bitter jealousy and selfish ambition have a home in your heart!”  It’s not only an UNWISE it’s EVIL!  the end of evil is disorder and destruction! 

WE NEED WISDOM THAT IS NOT OF THIS WORLD!

Ja. 3:17 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 good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  

6 WISE things James give us (Back them up with wise words from Proverbs)

1. Wisdom Doesn’t Compromise My Integrity!  “first of all pure…”

PURE means “uncorrupted, authentic.”  James is talking about the CHARACTER of CHRIST!  1 Jn. 3:3  And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

If I’m WISE, I wont lie to you, take advantage of you, deliberately mislead you, etc.

WHY is this listed first??  Because relationships are built on this equation: TRUTH + TIME = TRUST!  Am I trustworthy??  That’s the question.

Transparency, honesty builds trustworthiness and that builds security into your life, relationships, families, church…

Prov. 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely…”  That means, “not afraid of being found out!”  IF I’m WISE, I won’t COMPROMISE my INTEGRITY!

2. Wisdom Doesn’t Provoke People to Anger!  “is also peace loving…”

WISE PEOPLE don’t antagonize, don’t look for a fight, aren’t defensive or have a major chip on their shoulder!  They LOVE PEACE and work at maintaining HARMONY.

That’s how it is in relationships- a person out of harmony with everyone else: the spouse, the kids, the boss, co-workers, church members, is so because they’re ARGUMENTATIVE and FOOLISH!

Prov. 20:3 (Good News) “Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them!”  

WISDOM is sometimes simply knowing when to keep my mouth shut!  It’s not sweating the small stuff!

3. Wisdom Doesn’t Minimize People’s Feelings!  gentle at all times…”

The meaning here is “considerate, courteous, mindful of other people’s feelings!”

Here’s the BIG MISTAKE we all MAKE: IF I don’t FEEL the SAME way you do then YOUR FEELINGS are invalid or illogical!

Fact: FEELINGS are NOT RIGHT or WRONG- they’re just FEELINGS!!  Too often our reaction to someone when they express their feelings is to belittle them or worse yet, play psychologist!  It’s UNWISE and it DESTROYS RELATIONSHIPS!

The WISE thing to do is NOT to MINIMIZE people’s FEELINGS!  “I had a rough day.”  “Well, my day was way worse than yours!”  So what??  You BOTH had a

4. Wisdom Doesn’t Criticize People’s Ideas!  “and willing to yield to others…”

I love the meaning of this GREEK word: “submissive, open to reason, allows discussion!”

In other words, WISDOM is WILLING to LISTEN and LEARN from OTHERS!  I’m NOT STUBBORN, I’m REASONABLE!  Are you a reasonable person?  Can your spouse, kids, others REASON with you??

Abraham Lincoln was criticized for changing his mind on a matter.  He said, “I don’t think much of the man who isn’t wiser today than he was yesterday!”

Prov. 12:15 (GN) “Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice.”

5. Wisdom Doesn’t Highlight People’s Mistakes!  “is full of mercy and good deeds…”

FULL of MERCY!  Do you see that?  I give people a break!  WHY??  Because I like getting a break when I need one! So do you!  OR– do I constantly jump on every fault or mistake?  Do I continually bring up the past?  Do I never let go and forget people’s mistakes or mess ups?

Full of mercy AND GOOD DEEDS!  The GREEK means, “Kind actions, not just sympathy!”  You don’t merely treat other people with mercy who have failed themselves, you, or someone else, you ACT on it!  

Prov. 17:9 (LB) “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends.”

MERCY is GIVING people WHAT THEY NEED, NOT WHAT THEY DESERVE!  ACTS with KINDNESS!

6. Wisdom Doesn’t Disguise My Weaknesses!  “It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”

There’s that “favoritism” thing again!  These two words- “favoritism and sincere” go together in the GREEK language.  “Kritos” and “Pokritos” meaning “not a hypocrite, straightforward!”  

In Greek theater- ONE ACTOR but they would play MANY PARTS!  They would CHANGE MASKS depending on the PART they were PLAYING.  What were they called?? HYPOCRITES!!

WISE PEOPLE don’t PRETEND or FAKE it.  They’re NOT PHONIES with other PEOPLE!  They are real, genuine, authentic, transparent!  What you see is what you get because it is WHO they REALLY ARE from the INSIDE OUT!!  

I LOVE THIS ABOUT GCC!!  I hear it all the time…

There are way too many PHONY RELATIONSHIPS today- in politics, in singles bars, in businesses, in church, with Jesus… WE CAN’T AFFORD TO BE PHONY!  WHY??

Prov. 28:13 (GN) “You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins…”

The bottom line is everybody knows my faults already!  Trying to hide them is just plain stupid!  I’m not FOOLING God, nor anyone else- I am only FOOLING MYSELF!

WISDOM is being TRUE to myself, TRUE to God, and TRUE to others- this is what causes other people to be TRANSPARENT- people appreciate when we’re honest and not hiding anything!

HOW DO WE GET WISDOM SO WE CAN TREAT OTHER’S WELL?  Treat people they way we want to be treated??

 James 1:5-6 (NLT) 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

You ASK God!  And the wisest way to ask God??  You ASK JESUS CHRIST into YOUR LIFE!  Col. 2:3 (Good News) “He is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge!”

To be wise, to be treated the way you want to be treated, is to treat other’s well and honestly, that’s really only possible by having Jesus in your life- being foremost in a right relationship with him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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