The Blue Box Blog
Bob Kinzel

The Other Wisdom

We’ve seen that biblical wisdom has many faces. It is not merely a synonym for “smart,” but has several other qualities: Wisdom is good, moral, and humble enough to admit its mistakes. Wisdom is relational, righteous, and godly. Wisdom rests on universal principles, is insatiably curious (always learning), and flexible enough to account for new data.

That is the wisdom of God, as fleshed out in the book of Proverbs, and summarized in James 3:17. But James (3:14-16) contrasts this level-headed, open-minded, loving way to live with another “wisdom.”

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”

James is writing about hundreds of things happening all around us in our nation! Seen any bitterness out there lately, or selfish ambition? Any lying or jealousy? How about disorder and vile practices?

Let’s not be naive, misled by the world’s narratives. Listen past their rhetoric, and ask if what they are saying is wise. If people are telling you which lives matter, do you see love in their eyes? When someone explains the 13 different genders, is he/she/it reasonable? If someone pleads for a political party, can you trace its record to good things where it governs? When a professor is fired for quoting scientific research, does this promote free inquiry and the pursuit of truth?

Scripture helps anyone who so desires to identify true wisdom by its fruit and its faces. It’s not difficult. When you see rage, animosity, grasping for power, injustice, violence, and irrationality, walk away. You are not in the palace of the wise, but the den of demons.

“Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17
“By their fruits you shall know them.” Matthew 7:16

Wisdom’s Many Beautiful Faces

In everyday conversation we hear the ideas of wisdom and intelligence used interchangeably. But there are wise people who may not have high IQ’s, and intelligent people who are not at all wise.



I’ll never forget my first trip, as an adult, back to my grandfather’s farm. It’s about three miles up a winding road to where a towering maple tree dominated a sunny meadow knoll.


Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

Have you ever noticed how we refer to time as a commodity?
We have time, get time, and take time.
We make time, gain time, and lose time.
We squeeze time, waste time, and pass time.


Make Room for the Spirit!

I remember well the anxiety of wondering if I were “filled with the Holy Spirit.” Books, sermon series, and seminars once abounded with the supposed spiritual secrets of the successful Christian life.


Who receives God’s grace?

In Jesus’ very first sermon, He jolts us by asking us not just to tolerate our enemies, but love them (Matthew 5:44, 45). “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.


Who are God’s Enemies?

Reading through the Psalms I’m once again struck by the many references the psalmist makes to his enemies, and God’s. There are warring armies, threatening adversaries, and faithless friends, all of whom disturb the peace and create chaos. Who are they?


God, Good, and Glory

Alexander Pope’s line about a little learning being “a dangerous thing” was never better illustrated than when a famous atheist called the God of the Old Testament a bully and a narcissist.


Routine Mantenance

When the ancient garage door opener finally died, I wasn’t all that surprised, and at my first opportunity, bought and installed a replacement. It worked like a dream for months, and I was quite proud of myself (in the good sense, of course).


Come on, let them help!

Jesus was on planet earth less than thirty-four years, and He never wrote a book or built a cathedral. Yet, His message is going to the ends of the earth because He delegated the task to others.