Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Growing in Grace and Wisdom James 1:5-8 V.5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Growing up, one of my most memorable experiences in learning how to make decisions was learning how to drive. On Saturday mornings, my dad would take me on open local roads to practice basic maneuvers, and helped me develop and build practical and safe driving skills. On several occasions, he would take me into the heart of New York City during rush hour to teach me how to apply these skills under stressful traffic conditions. As a new driver, I was petrified. I was not confident in my ability to navigate the city, especially driving through congested and narrow roads. My dad never gave me specific directions on where to go, and although this was frustrating at the moment, his hope was that I would trust in my ability to use my previously learned skills to bring us safely to our destination. He wanted me to build confidence in my own decision-making, trusting my own abilities and experiences to critically think and discern. Similarly, I have often sought guidance from the Lord, and I have often returned disgruntled and confused having not received a (clear) response and not knowing what I should do next.
Today’s meditation takes us to the first chapter in the book of James. Written by Jesus’ brother, a leader in the Jerusalem church, James addresses this letter to Jewish Christians, who were scattered in various communities because of persecution; he challenges and encourages these believers in the praxis of their faith during difficult times. It is within just the first few verses that we receive a beautiful promise to the followers of Christ: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James further distinguishes godly and worldly wisdom, defining the former as: “[…] 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 3:17). We see here that wisdom is not merely knowledge, but is the ability to make sound decisions using and applying our knowledge and experiences.
Many a times when I have petitioned to the Lord for wisdom in a situation, in retrospect, I realize I was actually asking Him for specific knowledge on what I should do next or how I should handle my current predicament. Throughout my years, as I’ve spent more time in the presence of the Lord and His Word, I have learned to grow in my ability to discern – to hold any decision up to the Word of God, which is living and active, helping us divide that which is wise and unwise. Godly wisdom prompts us to ask the question: does this choice or decision I have to make allow or prevent me to look more like Christ? Do my words, thoughts and deeds lead to me becoming more peace-loving, considerate, and sincere?
The promise of wisdom gives us assurance in our God, regardless of our circumstances. We serve a God who is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love (Psalm 145:8), working for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). And although uncertainty lies ahead, He has promised to give us godly wisdom to empower and embolden us to walk in accordance with His Word.
Almighty God, You are great and generous, abounding in steadfast love. We ask for wisdom in our daily decisions to become like you; to become more peace-loving, considerate, submissive, impartial and pure. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thought of the day
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
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