Verse: James 3:13
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. (NIV)
13 If you consider yourself to be wise and one who understands the ways of God, advertise it with a beautiful, fruitful life guided by wisdom’s gentleness. Never brag or boast about what you’ve done and you’ll prove that you’re truly wise. (TPT)
In my job, I sell advertising space in my magazine to businesses. And then I help those businesses think about what they want to tell the reader in their ad. The best ads are focused on a few key aspects of the business so that it’s clear who they are and what they’re offering to a potential customer. In this verse, James is saying the best way to advertise who we are and that we are in step with God, is to actually live a life that’s producing fruit that looks like God. We don’t need to try and convince people we’re good or wise, attempting to make ourselves look better than we are. Our lives, meaning our actions, will do the advertising for us.
Just like James has already talked about in his letter, actions authenticate words. Whether it’s faith, love, or wisdom, he’s driving home the truth that these are not merely words, they are in fact actions. Wisdom looks like something. You don’t talk about being wise, you act wisely. The Message says it this way, “Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.”
James is intense and if you’re anything like me, maybe you easily feel like you’re already not doing enough. So just a reminder this is not about proving to God or people that we’re good enough, or wise enough. Jesus is referred to as “the wisdom of God” in 1 Cor. 1:24. As with everything God desires for us, he has already provided a way for us to experience it. And that way is Jesus.
Jesus please show me the “beautiful, fruitful life” you created me to live. I want to see the fruit of wisdom in my life that comes from my relationship with you. Please show me how to walk in step with you, in humility.
Author: Christine Robinson