10 January, 2006

Meekness of Wisdom Over Strength of Doctrine

Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
James 3:13

That phrase, "meekness of wisdom," arrested me instantly. There are a number of people in this world, and in the blog world, who show this trait, but I have never seen it put this way.

There are also a number of people who seem to have missed the next verses.

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.
James 3:15 & 16

I love debate, though it seems I am not very good at it. I believe that the church needs debate - and that within the body, not just with the world, or with "other" denominations. Edifying debate won't happen until we are willing to accept those brothers with whom we disagree, and we learn how to respect each other's positions while maintaining fellowship. Agreeing to disagree and going our separate ways ain't good enough.

Maybe it would look like this:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
James 3:17 & 18

We need each other's wisdom far too much to let our doctrines define our relationships. We could use more righteousness sown in peace.


Weekend Fisher said...

Wisdom is so misunderstood. We take the world's way too often, loud and pushy. Paul said Christ is God's wisdom ... the world thinks Christ is foolishness. But like Paul said, if that's foolish then I'll be a fool, 'cause God's foolishness is wiser than our wisdom.

Rich said...

Great, great post.

I'll never want to dismiss doctine, and its relative importance, out of hand, but in wisdom you find love. And Christ's command to love -- in particular loving others as yourselves -- trumps any command for protection of doctrine (or strength of doctrine) that folks hold dear.

Maybe it's wrong to extrapolate how I feel to how others do, but I'd imagine it's for the most part true. If I'm in any kind of need: hungry, stranded, wounded, hunted, abandoned, lonely, depressed, penniless... in any desperate situation, I'm going to want someone truly loving me and meeting my needs over anything else someone can offer. If the lovers of God focused on the beloved of God on even a part-time basis, rather than on constantly worrying about God's turf, which He can handle quite easily I suspect, then the Church could be a force like nothing we've ever seen.

I know I'm over-simplifying, and I know there's many Christians that are absolutely adamant on their doctrine that are also adamant about loving people and being Jesus to other people. Still, I think most of us have some work to do, including myself, in this area.

codepoke said...

If the lovers of God focused on the beloved of God ...

Beautiful. Amen, Rich.