Friday, November 04, 2011

November 3, 2011 … Manifesting a Wise Attitude

Blogger's Note: Somehow, yesterday in a moment of distraction, I got sidetracked from posting this journal entry. I most certainly completed it in my discipline of morning quiet times; but I just didn't get it posted, noting it this morning. So, on this one morning, I'll be posting yesterday's entry (11/3) and then today's

Passage of the Day: James 3: 13 … from the NIV … Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

James 3: 13 … from the NASB … Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

James 3: 13 …from the NKJV … Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

My Journal for Today: Okay, for those who’re following my devotional journal entries, we’re back for another day with the exhortation from James to find the wise among us. And we’ve seen that, according to the brother of Jesus, a wise Christian is one who behaves in a Godly manner, with actions consistent with God’s way of doing business in the world.

BUT (and this is not a small “but”), in the latter part of verse 13, we read that deeds done by the wise Christian should be those which exhibit “gentleness” or “meekness” of wisdom [see the NASB and NKJ versions above]. Having done a little study on this, I’m sharing three versions for this verse with you today because there are three different English terms used in these three translations of this Bible passage to describe the type of wisdom one should look for when observing the behavior of the Christian. The NIV is a scholarly translation; but in this instance, though I’m not a Bible scholar, I think that the NASB or the NKJV are closer in accurately interpreting the Greek meaning for what the NIV calls the “humility of wisdom.”

The Greek term used in this key part of James 3: 13 is “prautes,” which is from the root word “praos,” which Jesus used to describe Himself in Matt. 11: 29, … calling Himself, “meek” or “gentle.” So, the use of “gentleness” in the NASB or “meekness” in the NKJV to describe the character of the wisdom exhibited by Christians is a better rendering [I believe] than the use of the term “humility” in the NIV.

As I just made reference, MEEKNESS is one of the only adjectives ever used by Jesus to describe Himself (again – Matt. 11: 29). And Jesus also laid His blessing on anyone who showed meekness (see His blessing in the beatitude of Matt. 5: 5). All of these scriptural references to meekness, though they may be differing Greek words, “prautes, praotes, praus, and/or praos,” all express the same root meaning; and that is to place strength under control when living out our lives. When it applies to a Christian person, he/she could be one with great inner or outer strength, but that one would definitely be one who is willing to submit that strength to self-control in the pressure of the moment. We’d call that person “cool” today, wouldn’t we? And wasn’t Jesus just the “coolest” person ever? He had all power at His disposal [being 100% God], yet He willingly released that power during His walk as a Man for the glory of His Father (see Phil. 2: 5 – 11 - linked here for your reference).

So, James is saying in today’s verse that wisdom is exhibited by the Christian who can reign in his emotions, personal power or his desire for personal control, surrendering them to God’s Spirit, and exhibiting great restraint under the pressure of the world. What about it? Are we cool (i.e., gentle, meek, or restrained) under fire? Are we what James would call “wise” believers? Are we like Jesus under pressure?

Personally, I’ve got a [LONG!] way to go [or grow] on that one!

My Prayer Today: Help me to be meek, like You, Lord. Amen

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