james 3:13-18 the message
do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? here's what you do: live WELL, life WISELY, live HUMBLY. it's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. mean-spirited ambition isn't wisdom. boasting that you are wise isn't wisdom. twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn't wisdom. it's the furthest thing from wisdom-it's animal cunning, devilish conniving. whenever you're trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others' throats. real wisdom, god's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. it is GENTLE and REASONABLE, overflowing with MERCY and BLESSINGS, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. you can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with god and enjoy its results ONLY if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with DIGNITY and HONOR.
james 4:7-10 the message
so let god work his will in you. yell a LOUD no to the devil and watch him scamper. say a QUIET yes to god and he'll be there in no time. quit dabbling in sin. purify your inner life. quit playing the field. hit bottom and cry your eyes out. the fun and games are over. get serious, really serious. get down on your knees before the master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet.
good reminders for us all today.