This letter gives us another secret to growth and change to those of us who are feeling a little bit complacent. Maybe we feel a little more bored than blessed when we connect with church … Perhaps we feel a lot more attached to this world than we’d like - (who doesn’t struggle with that?) and looking us straight in the eye Jesus says - “I want you to see your need as you never have before. Then I’d be able to meet your need as I never have before.”
John writes this way to the church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church of Laodicea write, ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds that you’re neither cold nor hot … I wish that you were one or the other … But you don’t realise you’re wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you get from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness salve to put on your eyes so you can see.” (Revelation 3:14 ff)
Not easy words from Jesus but they end with his remarkable promise - “Look! I am standing at the door and I’m constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and I’ll fellowship with him; I’ll relate to him, I’ll dine with him and he’ll fellowship with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – Message)
In James 3, we read – “Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do; live well, live wisely, live humbly … Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterised by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings … You can develop a healthy robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honour (Message Translation).
We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that “wisdom” is all about “intelligence” and “education”. But here, James reminds us that “wisdom” is a way of relating. It has as much to do with what we do, as it does with what we think.
Scripture reminds us, that if we want to be wise in our relationships, we won’t – compromise our integrity, antogonise, criticise, emphasise mistakes, disguise our intentions and we will be considerate.
Paul reminds us that - “Jesus is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3 (Today’s English Version)