OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #187 Pile Drivers and Posts of Wisdom
As I drive to the church each day, I can see two large construction cranes in the downtown, working on a new building. A few days ago, however, as I stopped the car, I could hear the distinct "Thump, thump" of a pile driver in action, and decided to investigate.
As it turned out, those construction cranes are driving piles for a big new building. One crane holds a set of rails with a driver and post. Compressed air powers a giant piston which drives a long steel post into the ground as it cycles back and forth. The other crane stands by to lift another post into place.
The object is to hammer the posts into the ground until they rest on solid rock, and then to build on top of the posts. I watched this for a little while, thinking how much those posts are like the pillars of wisdom we see in James 3:17-18.
"But 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. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."*
Last week we saw that wisdom is about action and not advice. We cannot proclaim ourselves to be wise. True wisdom, rather, is seen in the things we do. Thankfully in our passage today James gives us some examples of what wisdom looks like. Each one of these stands as a post grounded on the solid rock of godliness.
Pure - wisdom bears a quality of holiness and of being unspoiled.
Peace-loving - wisdom does not always have to argue and pick fights, and furthermore, it finds ways to smooth things over.
Considerate - wisdom thinks of other people and ways to help them.
Submissive - wisdom does not always need to get its own way. I could use my power and strength to get my own way, but I choose not to.
Merciful - wisdom doesn’t need to remind other people about their faults and foibles when they are down, but shows compassion and finds practical ways to help
Good Fruit - wisdom doesn’t need to proclaim itself because there is already lots of evidence
Impartial - wisdom does what is right and not only what is in one’s interest
Sincere - wisdom is not two-faced or hypocritical
Back at the work site, I noticed that we won’t see the posts when the building is done. However, we will see the evidence of their presence in the way the building remains solid and stable. Its the same for us. People aren’t going to walk around and say, "My, look how pure he is," or "Isn’t she a model of mercy and impartiality." The evidence of wisdom in our lives will be shown, rather, in the quality of our relationships.
I hope this helps. Be on fire.
OnFire is a weekly letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis. Troy is the Pastor of Family Ministries at Highfield Baptist Church, Moncton NB Canada. This letter published May 6, 2009. *Bible references taken from the New International Version. To subscribe or reply, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Archives are located at www.onfireletter.com Blog located at http://onfireletter.blogspot.com/