Open to Reason

Posted on February 26, 2009 · Posted in Communication

In the middle of the seven
components of wisdom from above listed in James 3:17 is the phrase that the
ESV translates open to wisdom. Other translations translate the same
words as submissive, willing to yield, compliant and reasonable. In
any dispute, a charge you will
not hear brought against someone is that that person is
open to reason. It will be just the opposite; he won’t listen to reason! And
yet here it is clearly listed—open to reason.

To be open to reason, you
must be both wise and confident. The wise person is comfortable with God’s
word. This means that he knows where to go in the Bible for help. He knows that
the Bible has everything needed for life and godliness. He knows that a wise
man listens first and asks questions later. The one who is open to reason is
also confident.The biblical confidence noted here flows from the words in
James 1. The double-minded man, the man who asks in doubt, cannot be stable. In
contrast, the one who is open to reason welcomes the opportunity to hear from
others. He knows where to find answers in his Bible. He is not afraid to hear
what others say or want, because he knows God’s Word addresses every issue he
might face, and he genuinely wants God's answers more than he wants to prove
himself right.

In a dispute, self-protection
is often the first instinct. But for the wise man the first thought will be to
listen, so that genuine understanding can develop. The wise man isn't compelled
to defend himself first. This attitude breaks down barriers rather than
erecting them.

Being open to reason is an
important component of wisdom from above. Are you open to reason? Would those
around you say that you are open to reason? Please give this some serious
thought. I’ll finish looking at this key component in the next post.