Sagacity: Gaining Insight & Wisdom from the Book of James

Proverbs is one of my all time favorite books in the Old Testament. It is a chapter from Proverbs we read every Sunday for our family prayer. (For more about our family’s weekly prayer time, here are 7 Simple Things We Do for Family Prayer)

The book of James is considered the Proverbs of the New Testament.  It drops little droplets of wisdom. Little phrases come with colossal impressions regarding mercy, doubt, trials, the Bible, your tongue, and much more.

Open your Bible or Bible app and highlight or underline the scriptures as you read. Meditate on them. Personalize them. Place them personally in your life and where you can succeed by following them.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds

If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously  to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubt is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord. 

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.

But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.

For the sun fises with scorching heat and withers the plant.  It blossoms falls and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. 

A man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 

Get rid of the moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you which can save you. 

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says. 

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in  a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 

The man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress and t keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  

Don’t show favoritism.

Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.   

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.

Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.

Mercy triumphs over judgment.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no works?

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well.  Keep warm and will fed,” and does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it”

Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by actions,  is dead.

A person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, be cause you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.

The tongue corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 

No man can tame the tongue.

The tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 

If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such wisdom does no come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.

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.

Friendship with the world is hatred towards God.

Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Submit yourselves to God.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Come near to God, and he will come near to you.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Do not slander one another.

Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.


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