The Wisdom That Comes From Above

Key Texts: James 3:17-18

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Increasingly these days I am tempted to turn off my TV and internet access – just to get a little peace from the reports of violence, racial tension, anti-Semitism, anti-Christian, anti-almost everything attitude that seems to be increasing. Whew!

Don’t misunderstand – I don’t intend to do it – partially for practical reasons, and partially because I believe a “head in the sand” attitude is the surest way to get into real trouble in a complex and troubled world.  All I am saying is that I am tempted to turn a blind eye and ear to it all.

That’s why a scripture like the one I have selected today can bring comfort.

James reminds us that the “wisdom that comes from heaven,” which is anything but worldly wisdom, is

  • First of all pure
  • Peace-loving
  • Considerate
  • Submissive
  • Full of mercy
  • And good fruit
  • And sincere

As I say; anything but “worldly”.

So, when you are tempted to tune out and just look the other way before you become too frightened or overwhelmed by the daily news – tune in to James’ reminder about the wisdom that comes from heaven.

It won’t make the world’s ills suddenly fade away.

It will, however, point you in the right direction – for the resources you need – to deal with them.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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