All of us need wisdom to say and do things befitting those who have faith. (James 3:13-18) If we have reverential fear of God, he grants us heavenly wisdom, the ability to use knowledge aright. (Proverbs 9:10; Hebrews 5:14) His Word teaches us how to display “a mildness that belongs to wisdom.” And because we are mild, we promote congregational peace. (1 Corinthians 8:1, 2) Any who brag about being great teachers of fellow believers are ‘lying against Christian truth,’ which condemns their egotism. (Galatians 5:26) Their “wisdom” is “earthly”—characteristic of sinful humans alienated from God. It is “animal,” being the product of fleshly inclinations. Why, it is even “demonic,” for wicked spirits are proud! (1 Timothy 3:6) Let us therefore act with wisdom and humility so that we do nothing to create an atmosphere wherein such ‘vile things’ as slander and favoritism can flourish.
“Wisdom from above is first of all chaste,” making us clean morally and spiritually. (2 Corinthians 7:11) It is “peaceable,” moving us to pursue peace. (Hebrews 12:14) Heavenly wisdom makes us “reasonable,” not dogmatic and hard to deal with. (Philippians 4:5) Wisdom from above is “ready to obey,” promoting obedience to divine teaching and cooperation with Jehovah’s organization. (Romans 6:17) Wisdom from above also makes us merciful, compassionate. (Jude 22, 23) Being full of “good fruits,” it prompts concern for others and actions in harmony with goodness, righteousness, and truth. (Ephesians 5:9) And as peacemakers, we enjoy “the fruit of righteousness” that thrives under peaceful conditions.
Clearly, then, faith moves us to action. It makes us impartial, merciful, and active in fine works. Faith helps us to control the tongue and to act with heavenly wisdom. But that is not all we can learn from this letter. James has further counsel that can help us to conduct ourselves in a manner befitting those who have faith in Jehovah.