Words of Wisdom – Man as Provider

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” - James 3:13-17 ESV

The story is told about how automaker Henry Ford asked electrical genius Charlie Steinmetz to build the generators for his factory. One day the generators ground to a halt, and the repairmen couldn't find the problem. So, Ford called Steinmetz, who tinkered with the machines for a few hours and then threw the switch. The generators whirred to life - but Ford got a bill for $10,000 from Steinmetz. Flabbergasted, the rather tightfisted car maker inquired why the bill was so high. Steinmetz's reply: For tinkering with the generators, $10. For knowing where to tinker, $9,990. Ford paid the bill.

In chapter 3, James is “tinkering” with us regarding the way we live our lives in providing a lasting legacy. Our lives and influence can be unstable and harmful to our family and others, but when influenced from above, as he puts it, is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” That’s providing a godly example of how to honor God with one’s life!
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, recommended the wisdom from above over anything else he had seen or heard. The book of Proverbs admonishes us: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7 NKJV). He also gives us one of my favorite passages: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV).

  • Christians must provide the example of turning to God’s Word, which will guide us in every aspect of life.
  • How do we acquire and provide wisdom to those we influence? Let’s consider three quick observations.
  • We always hear that strength is more impressive, yet it’s incredibly ineffective compared to wisdom: Seek God’s will, walk by the Spirit, and be wise.
  • When we desire God's will, he gives us the wisdom to know where to tinker in the lives of our family and impart Godly wisdom to them.
  • How are you sowing a hunger for heavenly wisdom in the lives of your family? 
  • Ask God to help you become a reliable provider of godly wisdom.