Thursday, July 14, 2011

To enjoy hard work... Real Wisdom

Real wisdom, God's wisdom, 
begins with a holy life and is characterized 
by getting along with others. 
It is gentle and reasonable,
overflowing with mercy and blessings,
not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.
You can develop a healthy, robust community
that lives right with God and enjoy its results
only if you do the hard work of getting along
with each other, treating each other
with dignity and honor.
James 3:17-18 MSG


We just started a  study of the Book of James in our youth group a few weeks ago. I love this book... I am reading it in the NIV version and the Message gleaning more with each read. The book is short, only five chapters but each one is jam-packed with every day essential wisdom...
Real Wisdom begins with a holy life... characterized by getting along with others...
I love how James not only writes to us of this God wisdom but then continues by laying it out clearly what this wisdom looks like- gentle, reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings...
Good stuff there... He continues by telling us what it is NOT-- not hot and cold... not two-faced.
And this God wisdom is not for us alone- but is more developed in community... being, living, growing with other believers. My favorite part of these verses is this:
... Enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
HARD Work is needed to garner the result that you want to enjoy...
That hard work includes getting along with each other and treating each other with dignity and honor.
Sounds simple enough... and when I stop and ponder all the "trouble" we have in Christian Community, I must state that I think it stems from not living out that piece of scripture tucked snug in the middle of this small book of the Bible... We don't work to and we most often don't work hard to get along with each other... I'm as guilty of it as the next person... I get along best with those that get along with me-- who want to get along with me-- who like me. And what about the others? Those who don't get my sense of humor, find me brash and obnoxious, think I laugh to loud and smile too big? Or the ones I find obnoxious, people I think are stand-offish, too quiet, those who want to benefit from all the programming but never want to volunteer... what about the muttering I do under my breath with those people who I clash with personality-wise... does this all apply to me? Do I have to?
Oh my yes!  Many, many times I have failed to work hard at getting along with those "others". When I have not been treated with dignity and honor I have a tendency to offer back what has weakly been offered- same for same... I am humbled as I realize I must work and work hard on treating others with dignity and honor regardless of how they treat me. I must strive to get along with others, regardless of my string of excuses of why I really don't need to... because the reality is... if I want real wisdom...
I need to.

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