“They were hoping he would say something wrong, so they could trap him.”
Have you ever felt baited, egged on, targeted or humiliated? I never realized how often Jesus experienced this. Everywhere He traveled, religious leaders sought His demise, yet He maintained perfectly healthy relationships.
I rarely leave a conversation satisfied with my half. But I want to become someone who does. Realistic? I don’t know, but God understands our hearts, hears our prayers, and transforms us into people who represent Him well—speaking life, honoring truth, showing love and walking in humility.
Godly wisdom is the key to flourishing, healthy relationships. James 3:17, a hallmark of Biblical wisdom literature, invites us to grab our shovels and unearth its riches.
But the wisdom from above is first pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. James 3:17
This verse outlines 7 keys to healthy relationships; let’s start digging!
1. Pure – hagnos in Greek means properly, clean, pure from every fault.
Interacting with others, I must ask myself, do I have pure motives, a clean conscience? Am I influenced by jealousy or selfishness?
Is this possible? When I stay close to my Good Shepherd, seeking His wisdom, He empowers me to respond with a pure heart.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Ephesians 3:16
2. Peace-loving – eirēnikos in Greek means bringing peace with it.
Do I bring peace or stir conflict, forcing my viewpoint?
In my power, this is impossible! Thankfully, Holy Spirit enables me to respond peacefully as I stay close and seek wisdom.
Do all you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
Notice, God says do all we can; we’re not solely responsible for keeping peace but offering it! Whether others embrace it is out of our control.
3. Gentle – epieikēs means appropriate, mild, moderation, patient.
We’re a society of instant everything. From oatmeal to entertainment, gratification is at our fingertips 24/7. No wonder our culture is witnessing patience’s demise. So, I ask myself, am I connecting with others patiently, appropriately?
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2
When tempted to lash out in hurt or anger, I remind myself—
Every time you take a dig, you lose ground. Gregg Matte
4. Willing to yield to others– eupeithēs means reasonable, easy to be intreated, obeying.
The only way I yield to others is by staying close to Jesus. Full of ambition, self-righteousness or stuck in past hurt, I dig my heels in, even when I’m wrong. Looking back, I laugh at myself—how senseless to stand on faulty ground!
I desire to leave a legacy of humility, not pride.
Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise. Prov. 13:10
Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor. Prov. 29:23
5. Full of mercy (and good deeds) – eleos means kindness or goodwill towards the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.
When I encounter the marginalized or hurting, do I make time, showing concern—not by offering hurtful cliches like, “At least ____” but by listening? Can I offer something—a meal, card or call?
6. Shows no favoritism
Honestly, this often seems hardest. We all have biases and prejudge. How can I view others through an unfiltered lens? Jesus offers the answer:
First, get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Matthew 7:5
When I open my heart to Jesus, He gently reveals and heals, so I can impartially relate to others.
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Psalms 19:12
Confessing our sin is like taking out the garbage; once is not enough. Cornelius Plantinga
7. Always sincere – anypokrito means without hypocrisy.
This is tough because I desire to be liked but sometimes don’t like myself. But godly wisdom dictates bringing my authentic self to relationships. No pretending or hiding.
So, how do these 7 elements of wisdom steer us towards healthy relationships?
Relationships get most complicated when we become triggered. We create false narratives based upon our emotions—not truth—villainizing those who hurt us, when often they’re hurting or lost.
God brings people into our lives to reveal our depth of need. In relational conflict, adversity becomes opportunity—an opportunity for exposure of our brokenness or fear, allowing Him to transform us into the kind of people we want to be.
Whew! Everything God says about relationships seems to be more about changing me than controlling or fixing someone else. This week, take some time to pray over the 7 traits of godly wisdom. Which one struck home? Journal, talk to a trusted friend. Don’t let this be another series you tuck into your day and forget. Healthy relationships begin with personal transformation, paired with healthy boundaries—up next!