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Week 7 - Day 2

Review James 3:13-18.

1. Contrast verses 13 and 14.

2. Contrast vv. 14-16 with what you learn about the character of God in 1 Cor. 14:33.

Stronger Jeans (optional): Use your study tools to look up the meaning of “bitter envy” and “selfishness” that are found in 3:14. (See the next question for these words in other translations.) Write down any additional insights that you receive.

3. Sharing Question: Most of the translations of 3:14 use the terms “bitter jealousy” or “bitter envy” and either “selfishness” or “selfish ambition” to describe this kind of wisdom. Tell about a situation in your own life when this kind of heart attitude threatened to overtake you. In other words, either someone else mistreated you because of his/her bitter jealousy or selfish ambition or you had those feelings yourself. Maybe it was a situation of competition or maybe someone was envious.

4. What is the source of this kind of wisdom (3:15)? And what is its outcome (3:16)?

The word translated in James 3:16 as “disorder” (NET, NASB, NIV) or “confusion” (KJV, NKJV) is another form of the word in Jam. 1:8 and 3:8, which describes a double-minded person and a double-speaking tongue.

5. Read all three of the verses just mentioned. What similarities do you see among the ideas in the use of this word in all three situations? How does this help you better understand the outcome of earthly wisdom?

6. Responding to God: Write down your feelings about what God has shown you today concerning earthly wisdom. Perhaps you need to confess an area where you have been guilty of earthly wisdom. Talk to God about your insights and responses.

3 comments:

Twisting His Arm said...

There was a time when I was jealous over other people's 'perfect' marriages. I spent a lot of time fretting about the negative aspects of my marriage. Then I realized good marriages take a lot of hard work so I stopped fretting and started working!!!

jjdsc said...

There's one particular situation where my family was treated terribly because of selfish ambition. I have forgiven them but sometimes esp in moments of weakness, I feel angry and have to remind myself to forgive them again. It's a process.

Sohl Gal said...

I've been threatened by the outward appearances. The idea that she has it all together, their children are so well behaved, his wife is always calm and well groomed. Once I've taken the time to talk with those I think are so put together, I realize that they struggle with the same issues I do. God's working in my life, just as He's working in their lives. My struggles are their struggles, and we can grow together to know Him more. It's still tempting to look through the window of another's life and see what I want to see, an image of perfection, and be envious. Then I have to remember that their season of happiness is well-deserved, too, and has come after a season of growth.