The book of James teaches us that there are two kinds of wisdom – one from above and one that is earthly, sensual and even demonic in nature.
In chapter one, James encourages all of us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Then, in chapter 3, he instructs us that “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
But there is a wisdom that is not of God, one that we see at work in the world around us. This kind of wisdom is self-seeking, and marked by envy, strife and division. It is based on selfish motives to satisfy the desires of the flesh, rather than seeking the best interest of others. Nothing positive can result from this kind of wisdom because it is completely self-centred.
When our motives are unselfish and we seek the wisdom that comes from above, we will reap a harvest that yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness, resulting in God’s best for everyone involved.