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James 3:17

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.

James is now teaching the "other" wisdom, the one that comes from heaven (or some translations more properly translate "from above" or " a higher place"). Let's look at this type of wisdom... what are it's characteristics?

First of all pure -meaning clean or clear. This wisdom is pure in its motivations and its direction. The wisdom that is from above is not tainted in any way.

The Peace-Loving - meaning related to peace. There is a connection between this wisdom and peace or tranquility, not only to God, but also to others.

Considerate - could be translated as gentle or mild or moderate. There is a sense of fairness in the word. Wisdom from above is gentle and fair. It is not based on What I Want.

Submissive - could be translated as reasonable or compliant. It is not forcing its own way, but is like a pavement for the way of others.

Full of Mercy - Just what it sounds like. It is Full of Mercy. Like a cup that is filled to the brim, with that little film of water holding it together. The slightest jostling will spill the cup. This wisdom is full of mercy, that is what is spilling out of it at all times.

Good Fruit - good as in its constitution or nature. This kind of wisdom produces things that are in their very nature... good. This is what it produces, for others and for itself.

Impartial - could be translated as unwavering. This wisdom is solid. It does not change based on personal biases or the whims of culture. Since its origin is from above, then at its core, it is also from above. The ways of the world aren't going to morph it and our likes and dislikes aren't going to change it.

Sincere - meaning genuine or without hypocrisy. This wisdom is the real deal. People who exhibit this type of wisdom are in the What you see is what you get category. You are getting a good thing, but you also know it is the real thing. There is nothing fake or put on about this wisdom.

(all definitions are from


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