|“Who is wise and understanding among you? |
Let them show it by their good life, by deeds
done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
Looking back over the span of my life, I have come to understand that the qualities of the mind will rise and fall based on the qualities of the heart. What I mean by that statement is that a person’s ability to use the gifts of intellectual and spiritual wisdom, knowledge, and understanding will prove useful only insofar as a person has apprehended those qualities that most affect the person’s heart.
I’ve been privileged to meet a number of individuals who many considered to possess a genius intellect. These very smart people often had interesting social quirks and didn’t really fit into the normal flow of life.
I remember hearing about one scientist who worked at a prominent national laboratory developing atomic weapons systems. His understanding of mathematics made him one of the very top talents in his field. But, he was so distracted by what was buzzing around in his mind that he never successfully learned how to drive a vehicle. So, every day, his loving wife would drop him off at the front gate of the national laboratory. He would then walk the very same pathway to his office building and begin his day of deep immersion in the science and mathematics of his field.
One day, some construction was underway at the main gate. His wife pulled the car around the corner, gave her husband a kiss on the cheek, and watched as he got out of the car. She promptly drove away, confident that her mate would soon be at his desk. When she completed her shopping, she happened to drive back past the laboratory. There, standing somewhat bewildered on the sidewalk was her husband. She stopped the car, got out, and approached him.
Tears were streaming down his cheeks, He was so very glad to see her. He had stood there for over 90 minutes. You see, even though he was just around the corner from the main gate through which he had entered the laboratory complex for many years, he was lost. His mind, grinding away processing complex mathematical formulae, could not find the main gate.
Neither you nor I will likely ever have that kind of experience. We simply do not possess that kind of intellect. But, we, too, can become so distracted by the things that occupy our time and attention, that we lose track of the really important things of life.
As Christians, we need to keep our minds and hearts fixed on Jesus. As His ambassadors to a troubled and needy world, we can apprehend all the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding we need to serve Him well, if we will just open our hearts to His mercy, grace, and love.
The Apostle James said it well when he wrote these words recorded in James 3:13:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
Our good deeds are not a ticket to heaven. Rather, that ticket has already been bought by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, our good deeds do come from a transformed heart that God gives us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Thus, those deeds of His righteousness that we are privileged to perform in His Name stand as a testimony of our humble appreciation for what He has done in our lives. We extend His mercy, grace, and love to others because He has so marvelously extended His mercy, grace, and love to us.
Let us begin this day with a determination to show the world our understanding of who God is and what He has done for us by humbly serving those who may cross our pathway this day. With joy and gladness of heart, let us allow God’s love to flow through us in an unrestrained way. As we show our true colors to the world, God will surely smile down on us and receive the praise and honor that our good deeds send His way.