“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17 NKJV)
The source of pure wisdom is above us. It’s not beyond us, but it doesn’t originate with us. It’s given to those who ask for it with the right intention (James 1:5-8).
The source of wisdom reminds us about the importance of meekness and humility. If it doesn’t originate with us, the right to claim ownership disappears. In other words – a spoon-full of wisdom’s source keeps a pound of arrogance away!
Knowledge alone has the ability to puff-up one’s ego (1 Corinthians 8:1), and such a mindset leads to the very things James’ warned about: a heart filled with bitter envy, self-seeking interests, confusion, and many evil works (James 3:14-16). After considering these warnings and the solution, it’s no wonder why James talks the way he does in “James 4:1-6“.
Wisdom from above is first pure (even in relation to the remaining characteristics of verse 17) … because if it doesn’t start pure, it didn’t come from God.
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6 NKJV)
“The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;” (Psalm 19:8 NKJV)