Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct let him show his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. James (Jacob) 3:13, TLV
The Art of Good Deeds. Does showing our good deeds — our good conduct — in the gentleness of wisdom looks different than “ordinary” deeds? On the surface, probably not. But wisdom deepens everything we do from a kind word to a kind deed. Why?
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. (vs. 17, TLV)
Sometimes a good deed or flattery or giving of our time and resources is actually unwise. Or, at the very least, it doesn’t have a lasting effect. It’s like the saying, “Throwing good money after bad.” Our conduct and deeds may seem righteous, but without the Holy Spirit’s discernment, we could be “throwing good deeds after bad.”
Now this I pray, that your love might overflow still more and more in knowledge and depth of discernment, in order to approve what is excellent—so that in the Day of Messiah you may be sincere and blameless … (Philippians 1:9-10, TLV)
One of the early lessons Bob and I learned when we began “living” Proverbs* is how often we did exactly that — throw good deeds after bad. We had little to no discernment. And what discernment we had, we tended to ignore.
When Yeshua’s half-brother, Jacob talked about wisdom, it was with the understanding of living the words taught by his ancestors, King David in Psalms and his son, Solomon in Proverbs. What Jacob summarizes in verse 17, is but a tiny drop of what the Scriptures teach us.
Nice to know we don’t have to go far to learn the art and life of wisdom.
*Want to learn how to read and “live” Proverbs? Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll receive two downloadable gifts. The second gift is the booklet, How to Read Proverbs. Sign up below.