We are looking at the sharp contrast that the book of James makes between two kinds of wisdom , earthly wisdom and wisdom from above. The difference is sharp and distinct. This, of course, has to be the case since the source of earthly wisdom is demonic and the source of wisdom from above is the Holy Spirit. James does not offer a third type of wisdom, wisdom from the middle. It is only one of the two. That means the stakes are high. One type of wisdom leads to war, the other to peace. Read this section in James again in that light.
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18 (ESV)
This passage is the reason I asked you to consider carefully the admonition to be "open to reason" in the last post. The call to be open to reason fits with the challenge that James gives in verse 13. If your desire is to be wise and understanding, then you must show this through a wise spirit of meekness. Too often, especially when there is conflict with teenagers, parenting comes down to insisting on being right. But you must be more than right. James is just as concerned about being “right” as you are. The difference is that God wants you to show wisdom that is so remarkable it can only be attributed to the work of God. Anyone can argue that he is right. But only a Christian acting in the humility of wisdom from above can demonstrate grace that goes beyond being right. Wisdom from above is the only way to present the grace of the gospel in trying situations. Anyone can be "right" about an issue, while responding with hurt, resentment, or stubbornness in the midst of conflict. But only a Christian, humbly loving Christ more than himself, can put off the resentment and stubbornness, and reach through the hurt to show compassion. Only a Christian clinging to the wisdom that comes from above can be truly open to reason.