Our campus group at Indiana University South Bend has been spending the semester in the book of James. Last week we looked at the last part of chapter three where James writes about man’s wisdom vs God’s wisdom.
3:13-18 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
In the discussion we hit a lot on motive. Why do we do the things we do? Is it to put on a good show, is it to create division? The things we say, even include in our prayers, are they born out of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control? If bitterness, jealousy, and anger are the things that are fueling us… our actions or decisions, then we need to look a bit deeper and take a reality check on our motives. As we moved the discussion into chapter four, the motive theme still resonates when we ask God in prayer but do not receive because we ask with wrong motives.
What motivates you?