Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Education Based on Divine GraceJames 3:13-18
Key Verse: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. (James 3:17)
In college, my engineering course of study involved studying businesses and seeing how things can be run most efficiently. Many of the courses of study were all about how to get the resources needed for a business to run at peak performance. Resources included people, machines, capital, land, and all other inputs needed to produce goods and services. In the last year of the program armed with formulas, and an understanding of how goods are manufactured and transported, you must take a course in APPLIED systems engineering and another class in Human Factors. It is in these two classes; you learn that the previous 3 years were all theories, formulas, and techniques on how to design perfect models. But in these two classes you learn that in the real world, the answers to the formulas and models we designed would give us results for the ideal and are not practical. There’s a culminating project to develop a plan from beginning to end to get all the concrete poured for the foundation of an 80-story skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. You are given the dimensions, and you are told to plan out how much concrete you need, and the process and logistics of the foundation pour. The easy part was to calculate how many truckloads you needed, but the point of the class wasn’t to come up with the number of trucks. But it was to realize 200 truckloads of cement can’t just show up on the first day. The plan had to take into consideration traffic congestion, looking at the workers and their ability to process all the cement that arrives at the site, and about the noise, were there schools nearby, what about hospitals? This class-tested knowledge, but it also required wisdom. Wisdom because your plan affects other people. The formulas gave us an ideal number and now we had to adjust for the well-being of the construction worker, trucker, and the community. The primary idea was that we were told there were always two dynamics in play, and they are in direct competition with each other. The need to maximize productivity and the need to look at the human factors involved.
James in chapters 3:13-18 is telling us there are two types of wisdom that we are influenced by. One is wisdom focused on our self and the other is wisdom focused on others. The tell-tale sign of wisdom that is worldly is, that the choices lead to disorder and wickedness. By seeking your own selfish desire, it breeds dissension and disunity. Godly wisdom is always other-focused and is always for the other’s benefit. If you are currently in school, or if you are in the school of thought that you are a lifelong learner, then my challenge to you is to ask yourself “how will my education or learning help another”.
Then your knowledge can become Godly wisdom, and always remember, this type of wisdom cannot be driven by human will, but by the Holy Spirit.
Lord help me to fight my natural desire to seek my own selfish desire. Help me to glorify you, in my life today by giving me wisdom in decisions that are driven by your Holy Spirit.
Epiphany Mar Thoma Church