In our passage James is talking about the wisdom. Generally wisdom is different from knowledge. Knowledge is about what, while wisdom is about how. Therefore, wisdom in and out of itself cannot be apart from our life. Wisdom can only exist when it is applied. And James asks a question in verse 13, who is wise and understanding among you? This question reminds us those who want to be teachers in verse 1. And James addressed them with this question and challenged them to show their wisdom. And this wisdom is supposed to be wisdom from above.
There are other wisdom which is not from above. It is motivated by jealousy and selfish ambition. This is the wisdom of this world. It looks like wisdom and it seems to be beneficial. And sometimes it even brings wealth and comforts. However, no matter what the result looks like, it will produces disorder and evil in the end.
But wisdom from above has the opposite ending. All the words used in verses 17 and 18 are not individual but communal. This kind of wisdom produces good fruits to the community. It builds up the relationship.
One of the good examples of this is David. While he had chances to kill king Soul twice, and he was able to kill him, with pure heart, peaceable and gentle mind, submissive to his God, with full of mercy and to eager to produce good fruits, with impartial and sincere judgment, he concluded that killing the man who was anointed by God is not right. This is the wisdom from above.
How can we get it, then? According to James 1:5, we have to ask God. It means we should ask wisdom instead of asking solution. Also, it means we have to ask God not someone else.
1. We will have BBQ on next Sunday (September 30th) at Mr. Eugene's new house