Authentic Christianity Message Series


Part 4 – Making Right Decisions
James 3:13-18

May 17, 2020
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor




A. There is a wisdom that is driven by obedience to the principles of God.  (James 3:13)

1. James 3:13  Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

2. Matthew 22:37-40  ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  38 This is the great and foremost commandment.  39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.

3. When loving God and loving others becomes the driving force of your life, you will become a wise person.

B. There is a wisdom that is driven by an impure motivation.  (James 3:14-16)

1. James 3:14-15  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

2. The two driving influences of worldly wisdom are:

#1 Jealousy / Envy

a. Jealousy describes a person with full hands fearful that someone else may take it from him.

b. Envy describes a person who has empty hands and who wants them full.  He sees what others have and becomes envious.

c. Neither jealousy nor envy honor God.

#2 Selfish Ambition

a. Selfish ambition has at its heart a “me-centered” philosophy.

b. God is able to elevate your life.

3. When copying the world’s standards characterizes our life, the result will always be broken and ruined relationships.

4. James 3:16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

C. James 3:17-18  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.



A. If we are wise, we will not make choices that compromise our integrity.

1. James 3:17  But this wisdom from above is first pure

2. The word “pure” means uncorrupted, authentic, with integrity.

3. All solid relationships are built on trust and respect.

4. Proverbs 10:9.  The man of integrity walks securely.

B. If we are wise, we will not antagonize another’s anger.

1. James 3:17  Wisdom is peace loving.

2. “The secret of wisdom is knowing what to overlook.”  (William James)

3. Proverbs 20:3  Any fool can start arguments.  The wise thing is to stay out of them.

C. If we are wise, we won’t minimize each other’s feelings.

James 3:17  Wisdom is considerate.

D. If we are wise, we will be teachable.

1. James 3:17  Wisdom is reasonable.

2. To be teachable means to be willing to listen, willing to be open to ideas and suggestions.

3. James 3:17  It’s open to reason.  (RSV)

4. Proverbs 12:15  A fool thinks he needs no advice.  A wise man listens to others.

E. If we are wise, we will forgive each other’s failure.

1. James 3:17  Wisdom is full of mercy and good fruit.

2. Proverbs 17:9  Love forgets mistakes.  Nagging about them parts even the best of friends.

F. If we are wise we will be real in our relationships.

James 3:17  Wisdom is impartial and sincere.