If you were to ask my dad what my most common pre-teen phrase was, he would clear his throat, roll his eyes, and groan an exasperated, “I knooOooow.”
I was a know-it-all; at least I thought I knew it all.
But my wisdom was prideful and its only benefit was to make me look smarter than everyone else. I have matured in virtue since then, but every once and awhile, I still catch myself hovering ever so slightly between humble and vain wisdom, especially when disagreeing on spiritual and social truths.
It’s not that my words are not wise but sometimes my intentions are not pure. There’s an arrogance that can arise in pseudo “us versus them” scenarios that makes it easy for me to forget that I am speaking to a brother or sister in Christ. Instead of loving someone and desiring their good, it’s difficult to admit that I would rather disregard and dismiss them, not out of jealousy, but out of selfish ambition to be right.
But Saint James makes it very clear, “Wisdom of this kind does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic” (James 3:15).
Excusez-moi? How can I, an intentional lover of the Lord, a disciple, and evangelist say or do anything considered demonic when I’m talking about God?
James 3:9 offers insight: “With [our tongues] we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God.” There is no confusing James’ words: we must see each other as another Christ so that while speaking with wisdom we are walking in humility with peace and sincerity as its fruit.
In a world full of pundits “owning,” “destroying,” and “obliterating” their opponents, we are called to humbly use the gift of wisdom to speak truth and bring others to Jesus. This doesn’t mean an acceptance of wrongdoings or only using flowery words; rather, James invites us to examine our heart’s intentions, so that when we speak, it will bear “good fruits.”
Let’s do that hard work, sisters, and make sure we are drawing others to Him.
As we examine our intentions, here's an examination of conscience for women from the blog.
Chika Anyanwu is a Catholic evangelist based in Southern California and is also the author of My Encounter: How I Met Jesus In Prayer. She has a deep love for Jesus, loves her beautiful Nigerian family, and is a firm believer that if coffee is good, there’s no need for cream or sugar. Find out more here.