RECAP: How do we experience social restoration?
PHASE 1: Social Distinction Social restoration begins when followers of Jesus embrace there are no social distinctions.
PHASE 2: Social Action Social restoration demands that followers of Jesus put their faith into social action.
PHASE 3: Social Language Social restoration requires followers of Jesus to do the heart work to bring about redemptive social language.
How are we to navigate these culturally complex, emotionally charged, socially intense times to help bring about social restoration?
PHASE 4: Social Wisdom
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. James 3:13
Command: Walk in WISDOM
Wisdom: the SKILL of living life WELL in God’s universe.
What exactly does walking in wisdom look like?
- Watch out for COUNTERFEIT wisdom.
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
- Fueled by NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
- Sounds GOOD but its source is BAD
- Produces DIVISION, DISORDER & DISCORD
- True wisdom ALWAYS takes the high ROAD.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
Pure: holy, without moral defect, originally – “what awakens awe.”
Peace-loving: “characterized by or prompting a state of wholeness or wellbeing;” “right relationships between individuals & between individuals & God.”
Considerate: not insisting on the right to enforce the strict letter of the law or custom; being merciful, lenient.
Submissive: “willing & open to adopting another position, belief or course of action with sufficient reason or evidence”; open to reason, willing to listen, not stubborn.
Full of Mercy/Good Fruit: compassion moved to action, pity for the one who is suffering unjustly, & pity for the one who suffering was brought on by themselves.
Impartial: not tending to cause factions or divisions within a group; not being judgmental or divisive, free from prejudice.
Sincere: without hypocrisy or pretense; “it never pretends to be what it is not & it never acts a part to gain its own ends.”
- True wisdom sows’ seeds of RECONCILIATION.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
Social restoration is cultivated by followers of Jesus sowing peace as true social wisdom.