Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom… [This] wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13, 17-18)
So Scripture tells me that I ought to show my works in the meekness of wisdom. What does is mean for me to show my works in the meekness of wisdom?
What is meekness anyway?
Scholars have actually had a difficult time translating the Greek word used here because our English language lacks a word that really carries the same true meaning as the original Greek. So in English, we do our best with it by attempting to use words like gentleness and meekness.
Essentially, meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. However, it's not passive either. Meekness is not weakness. You actually have to possess power in order to be meek at all. It carries with it this idea of bringing great strength and power under control in submission and service to another's authority. The Greek word used is actually the same word used to describe the process of breaking a wild horse.
Jesus is the ultimate example of great power being controlled for an act of great service.
Jesus never felt the need to defend Himself or His actions and often refused to promote who He really was as the eternal Son of God with any elaborate displays of the supernatural power that He actually possessed. Jesus humbly experienced suffering from His creation, but in a word, He could have easily executed the slaughter of His creation. Jesus was so surrendered to the will of the Father that His only concern was the glory of God.
Christian disciples should seek and desire a temperament in which we trust God so much that we are completely surrendered to His sovereignty over our lives.
Christian disciples are completely free from the anxieties and concerns of using their power and resources for any self-promotion or pursuit of personal gain.
Living our lives in the meekness of wisdom will protect us from the traps of selfish-ambition.
Selfish ambition is divisive and within it there is a willingness to disrupt peace and unity if it helps us promote ourselves. The wisdom of this world teaches a survival of the fittest mentality. Worldliness promotes the passion to pursue personal power and prestige by any means necessary. It will stir up jealously and envy within our soul, and we will constantly feel threatened by the competition from those around us. Worldliness is the reason we struggle with the success and accomplishments of those around us.
Walking in the meekness of wisdom is the pathway to peace.
True wisdom submits to the sovereignty of God. True wisdom resists the temptations of self-promotion. True wisdom draws near to communion with God. True wisdom repents of wrongdoing. True wisdom doesn’t take worldliness lightly. True wisdom serves the Lord over self.
As Christian disciples, let's follow the example of the One we claim to follow, and do what we do today walking in the meekness of wisdom.