August 12, 2005
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth’; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…”
--1 Peter 2:21-23
When I was a child, I wanted a goat for my birthday. My grandfather bought me one and we kept him out in the shed. Somehow I thought if I had a goat, he wouldn’t butt me. But that goat butted me all over the yard until we got rid of him! Why? Because a goat will butt you! It’s in his nature.
You can’t make a goat something it’s not. In the same way, you can expect a sinner to act anything else but like a sinner! We can’t change others by condemning them, but rather by our superior lifestyles! In the Bible, James gave us three ways to express God’s wisdom (see James 3:17).
- Purity expresses the wisdom of God. Man’s wisdom produces perversion for “where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:16). We are only made pure by God’s wisdom—the way of the cross. The purity we need is through salvation and forgiveness.
- Peace expresses the wisdom of God. As Christians, we should be able to lay our heads down at night and say, “It is well with my soul.” We are to have a peace with Him, ourselves, and others—emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually—that passes all understanding.
- Humility expresses the wisdom of God. Scripture says we are to be “gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy” (James 3:17), or submissive, teachable, and merciful. This is the fruit of God’s wisdom. It implies kindness without compromise. It implies toughness that is tendered by meekness. And that meekness is not weakness, it is power under control.
Without God’s wisdom there are two dangers we will face—ignorance and arrogance. And according to James, this is secular, sensual, and even satanic! To a culture whose world views are in conflict with ours and becoming increasingly dominant, we are to respond by reflecting the purity, peace, and humility of Jesus Christ.
If we’re going to recover the values we hold so dear and bring our nation back to Christ, we’ll not do it with our eloquent arguments because many already view us as hate-mongers and bigots. So often our rhetoric has been harsh and insensitive. But we can change this culture ultimately by living a wise lifestyle that exhibits the gentleness, grace, and love of Jesus Christ. That’s the most powerful argument of all!
THIS IS THE WAY WE ARE TO WIN THE DAY! WITH PURITY,
PEACE, AND HUMILITY, LET US FULLY LIVE THE WISDOM OF GOD!