Before I was a mom, I used to think I was going to be a pretty terrific one. I mean, I read all the right books, babysat as a teenager, earned my degree in elementary education AND had the experience of teaching for a few years. From my naive perspective, I had the knowledge and experience…or so I thought.
Then I had my first daughter.
And for the first time in my life, I knew real exhaustion. I experienced the sleepless nights, the wee hour mornings of holding a baby who would not stop crying and I found myself – more nights than I’d like to admit – crying right along with her in complete desperation. And just when I was feeling like I was getting the hang of this new mom thing, to my surprise, I quickly got pregnant again and had another daughter 16 months later. Looking back now on those first few sleepless years, they feel more like a blur than reality.
Now please don’t get me wrong, life was good. I felt incredibly blessed with my girls after waiting almost 7 years for them…but to be really honest with you, it was hard. It was exhausting and nothing like what I expected. It wasn’t like teaching a classroom of kids who went back to their parents at the end of the school day…my sweet little ones were with me 24/7.
The perfect mom I had pictured in my mind was quickly not becoming my reality and it broke me into pieces.
You see, I had the knowledge of how to be a “super” mom. I “knew all the right things”, but I lacked the experience and Godly wisdom.
Verse 13 reminds me of me and my path of motherhood:
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom.”
Deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom…
Being a mother for the first time humbled me…and still does.
Over the years, I have learned not to think “if I ever have a child who acts like that, I’ll…” Failing a few times, making mistakes, losing my temper, losing my mind…has humbled me. And rightly so. It seems as soon as I’m about to pat myself on the back for something my girls have done, I find myself humbled once again.
It has been the life experience. The day in and day out of making mistakes, trying to learn from them that has not only given me much needed humility but also grace-filled wisdom.
God has graciously used those painful events to not only humble me but also to show me my need of Him and His wisdom in my life.
Because I’ve been face-to-face with my inadequacies as a mom, wife, friend, daughter…God has used those experiences to bring me closer to Him. As I’ve grown in humility, I have realized how desperately I need His wisdom in my life, instead of the wisdom found in the world.
In verses 14-18, James talks about two different types of wisdom. One is of the world and the other is of heaven.
The wisdom of this world produces actions of this world. Characteristics like envy, selfish ambition, boasting, and lying.
The wisdom of the world focuses on me. What I can do on my own, in my own strength for my own glory. I am the focus of the wisdom of the world, not God.
In contrast, wisdom from heaven is pure. It is:
- full of mercy
- produces good fruit
Looking over the past 11 years that I’ve been a mom and now a mom to not only 2 girls but 3, I understand that gaining Godly wisdom is not just a one time deal, but a humble Jesus-seeking choice each and every day.
It’s the daily, intentionally going to Jesus first with my worries, hurts and utter desperation. It’s in the choosing to die to myself, my selfish thoughts, behaviors, and opinions and seeking a life that is characterized with qualities from the above list. Qualities like being full of mercy, having sincerity, and being considerate.
And I’ve learned over the years that a life full of God’s wisdom looks a lot like Jesus.
Friends, if this is the life you are seeking…don’t grow weary or get discouraged. As God allows different situations in our lives, we have a choice if we want to humble ourselves and learn to grow in Godly wisdom or if we want to listen to the world and the contradicting insight it provides.
Living lives full of Godly wisdom takes time and it takes intentionality. It’s a process learned through a lifetime of seeking Jesus, day after day. There is no magic wand that God will touch us with where we instantly have the wisdom of heaven without the daily choosing of it first.
What we do have is a promise that God will never leave us and will be with us each step of the way as we seek more of Him and less of the world!
Love God Greatly!
Let’s Talk: How are you intentionally seeking God’s wisdom over the wisdom found in the world?