Wisdom Wednesday: Genuine wisdom

Genuine Wisdom

By: Debbie’s dad

            But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.– James 3:17

We live in a media-savvy world. The emphasis in this culture is to control the image that others see of our lives- to control what others perceive about us. Influencers employ public and social media mechanisms to create a narrative about them, framing any information to emphasize positive characteristics, organizing pictures to create amazing optics, and spinning any information about them to conform to their narrative. Because so many of us are online in one form or another, it is tempting to use these mechanisms to project ourselves in a way that may not be completely genuine.

In today’s passage, James emphasizes that Godly wisdom is “without hypocrisy,” meaning sincere and genuine. The original language also can be translated as “unfeigned” or “undisguised.” A wise life and its statements, decisions, and actions are genuine. There are no creative narratives, framing, spinning, and embellished optics – just genuine and transparent truth. This necessity is consistent throughout Scripture in well-known passages:

  • The prophet Jeremiah denounced the sins of Judah, including the hypocrisy of their false worship. But God saw their hypocrisy and asked: “Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the LORD.”        -Jeremiah 7:11.
  •   Jesus warned of hypocrisy that deceives those who act spiritually and hide their sin – projecting a narrative and image of godliness while living a sinful life. (Luke 12).
  •  Jesus told the woman at the well in Samaria that true worship is genuine – “in spirit and in truth.” God knows what authentic worship is. (John 4:23)
  •  Jesus also emphasized absolute truth (this is what is genuine). He claimed to be “the truth” – what the philosophers call “ultimate reality.” (John 14:6)  And when Jesus stood before Pilate, He told Pilate that those who are genuine believers (those who “belong to or are of the truth”)  recognized the truth and acknowledged Him. Pilate stood before the Creator, the true ultimate reality, yet he yielded to the hypocrites. (John 18:37-38).
  •     Paul urged Timothy that his Gospel mission must be from a genuine heart. “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (I Timothy 1:5) The sincere (genuine) faith that Paul counseled was based on a pure heart and clean conscience.
  •     Paul further commended Timothy for his sincere faith, which reflected the sincerity of his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5).

·        The sincerity of our faith is located in our “inner man,” as Paul taught ( 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16 ), and this is what God looks at: “… For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” ( 1 Samuel 16:7 ).

Let our lives reflect the wisdom that is from above, living in the authenticity of sincere love, genuine behavior that is unfeigned, and transparent – trusting in the Lord.


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