The Wise: Show Gentleness Part 4 James 3:13
Do I show gentleness?
Yesterday, we finished LOOKING at who is wise and understanding.
Today, let’s focus on the ‘gentleness of wisdom’ in verse 13.
Open the App to the Book of James.
TIP: Work in the Split View or Toggle (go back and forth) between the App and the Blog.
O Lord, as we come to Your Word today, we need Your help. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear what You are saying in this verse. Please give us the understanding we need to live in the light of what You show us. Thank you!
LOOK at What God Says
How do we get underway?
READ God’s Word
Read Chapter 3 verses 13-18 asking the 5W and H questions.
Let’s keep our focus on verse 13.
How does James say one shows they possess God’s wisdom?
v13 “Let him show by his good behavior by his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.”
What does this go back to that we have already seen?
Faith without works is dead. (Jam 2:17, 20, 26)
Show me your faith by your works. (Jam 2:18, 21, 25)
Context Rules Interpretation
THINK with me:
What is the context of v13-18? In other words, this paragraph came on the heels of what?
The warnings about our tongue.
So then, what do we need when it comes to using our tongues?
Unlock the Meaning of the Text
What words are key to this verse?
Understand the Words God Uses
Let’s take a LOOK at the definitions for these Key words.
Behavior, anastropheâ; conduct – how one acts.
Deeds, érgon; works, well doing – what we do.
Gentleness, praü;tēs; meek. Same word for humility in Jam 1:21. Meekness, mildness, forbearance. It was used of a tamed horse, which is powerful, but submissive to its master. It is the result of a strong man’s choice to control his reactions in submission to God. It is getting angry at the right time, in the right measure, and for the right reason. It is power under control.
We see: gentleness (meekness) is not weakness! It has to do with power.
“It is not a spineless gentleness. It is not a sentimental fondness. It is not a passive quietism. It is a strengthening under control.” William Barclay
Take the definitions back to the text.
13 “Who among you is wise [has the ability to apply knowledge of God] and understanding [has the knowledge of God]? Let him show by his good behavior [conduct; actions] his deeds [works; what he does] in the gentleness [meekness; power under control] of wisdom [applying God’s Truths].”
Now let’s camp here for a minute.
‘Show‘ is a verb, expressing an action, significant to what the author is saying.
Did you check out the Grammar? See Dictionary Tutorial.
What did you discover?
The verb ‘show’ is Aorist Imperative Active.
- Aorist tense – is like a snapshot, showing an action occurs.
- Imperative mood – usually is a command.
- Active voice – the subject produces the action.
Wow! Another command! Remember James gives us over 50 commands. He is saying don’t just say you are ‘wise‘, show it!
We see: wisdom is showing the power of God and His Word in our lives by our behavior and deeds.
Am I obeying this command?
Does my behavior, do my deeds, show the gentleness of God’s wisdom?
How is my life truly reflecting the power of God and His Word?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
God Uses Truth To Explain Truth
God uses Truth to explain Truth, so let’s zoom in on ‘gentleness‘ by checking out the Cross References GODcha gives.
- THINK and REASON by asking questions.
- There is no hurry. Our goal is not to fly through a passage. We want to engage with God, see what He is saying and hear Him speak to us personally.
1. Who was/is gentle?
a. Moses – was not weak. He was the most humble (gentle, meek) man on the earth.
Understand: Moses’ behavior and deeds were shown in gentleness of wisdom. He was humble, yet a strong, effective leader. (Num 12:3)
b. Our Lord Jesus – was not weak.
Understand: Jesus was gentle (meek) and humble in heart, yet powerfully strong when He confronted the religious leaders and the moneychangers. (Mat 11:29)
c. Those who are in the kingdom of God – Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Mat 5:5)
2. What do you understand about gentleness?
Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit, being produced in believers. (Gal 5:21)
Understand: Gentleness can not be manufactured by our flesh. This is one of the 9 virtues of the fruit that comes, that is produced, when one yields to the Holy Spirit.
Am I gentle?
How do I respond:
to difficult people and/or situations;
to an unbelieving spouse;
to unbelievers in general;
to those in an antagonistic world?
How do I treat others? Do I respond in gentleness of wisdom?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
What Have We LEARNED
Sum It Up
The Wise and Understanding:
Show God’s wisdom by their good behavior (conduct).
Show God’s wisdom by their works (what they do).
Show God’s wisdom in gentleness (power under control).
Show the power of God and His Word in every area of their lives.
That’a It For Today!
Meditate on what God has shown you today just from LOOKING at the verse and checking out the meaning of the Words He uses.
Record What God has Taught You
As we close for the day remember, take a minute to put what you LEARNED from the Definitions and Cross References not only in your Notes but in your hardbound Bibles too, next to Jam 3:13.
Let’s Turn What We LEARNED into a Prayer
OH FATHER GOD, we praise You! We thank you so much for Your Word that is a sure Word, Truth that sanctifies us, sets us apart. Oh Father, thank you that You have made Your Word clear to us. I pray that we will refuse the lie from Satan that Your Word is hard to understand. May we all see how easy Your Word is to grasp when we just take the time to be with You. And may our time with You, be a renewing of our minds and a changing from the inside out. Help us not to buy the lie of Satan that gentleness (meekness) is weakness. I pray we all will cement this Truth into our hearts, that gentleness (meekness) is power under control. We thank you Lord Jesus for the example of gentleness – strength and humility, power under control – that You displayed to us. We thank you Holy Spirit, that You are producing that gentleness in us, that can only come from above. Oh, please forgive us for the many times we have not been gentle, and not displayed gentleness to others. Oh Father, may we who profess to be believers choose to control our reactions and submit to You. Help us to discern when it is right to be angry, in the right measure, for the right reason. May we all show that gentleness, that power of You and Your Word in our lives. Help us to reflect the gentleness of wisdom by the way we live our lives, in our good behavior (how we act) and our deeds (what we do). We thank you and ask this in Your Son’s Holy, Matchless Name!
We are cheering you on and praying for you as you continue to be diligent to learn God’s Wisdom.
Next: We will begin to LOOK at verse 14.
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