Sunday, September 20, 2020



This is the second post in the series called "Wisdom from Heaven".  In this series we will be studying James chapter 3, which details how to put wisdom into practice in our everyday lives.

Today we are focusing on the opposite of Heavenly Wisdom.  Sometimes it is easier to understand a concept when learning about the opposite.

Unspiritual earthly wisdom is summed up in this small portion of James 3:16 - 
"envy and selfish ambition."

Let's begin by defining all three words: envy, selfish and ambition:

envy - a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities or looks.

selfish - lacking consideration of others;  concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.

ambition - a strong desire to do or achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

Obviously, ambition is a good characteristic and something to work towards.  However, ambition is not always positive.  Look at the featured Bible verses above - problematic ambition happens when it is selfish.
If "Selfish-Ambition" was one word, then this is how it would be defined:

Selfish-Ambition - a strong desire to do or achieve something which lacks consideration of others;  typically requiring determination and hard work towards one's own personal profit or pleasure.

Reread James 3:16 - you will notice that when these two characeristics (selfishness and ambition) are combined, the result is catastrophic.  Verse 16 is very specific - selfish ambition and envy will result in disorder and every evil practice.

Finally, you might be wondering how ambition could be a good characteristic.  Ambition is something to strive for only when it is Godly-ambition.

If your daily life (through actions), wins the respect of outsiders, then that is a good example of being "Godly-ambitious" (see Scripture passage above).

Avoid unspiritual earthly wisdom by leading a quiet life and acting in a manner that wins the respect of strangers (thereby glorifying God).


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