With our established institutions disintegrating, it’s inevitable that there will be conflict.
We will need wisdom. Many voices will arise to offer advice about what should be done.
As a Christian, we have a duty to recognize true wisdom from false wisdom. Thankfully, the Apostle James gives us a checklist on how to recognize wisdom “from above” as opposed to the demonic earthly wisdom:
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (Jas 3:17)
The fundamental question to ask is “does this person have a pure love for truth and wisdom?” Or is he motivated by jealousy and status? In manosphere terms, this means you automatically rule out gamma males as qualified teachers of wisdom.
Once you think someone has pure motives, over time you’ll see the following fruits that will confirm that it is godly wisdom:
Does the rhetoric advocate peace for all people? Does it seek a resolution that all can agree on? Or does it attempt to incite violence and tear others down?
NOTE: Be especially careful here. The enemy will often advocate a false peace or accuse the peacemakers of being the ones causing division. See the Pharisees and Jesus as a prime example.
Does the advice seem fair and mild? Is it sensible? Doesn’t ask too much of the listener? Or does it make exacting demands and place heavy burdens on people? (e.g. asking to have an open discussion about a topic vs. demanding immediate and radical change)
3. Open to reason
Does the teacher change and adapt what they teach in response to fair criticism and new information? Or do they “stick to their guns” no matter what?
4. Full of mercy and good fruits
Does the teacher try to help those weaker than him? Is he quick to forgive those who repent and turn to the truth? Or does he judge and dismiss the weak and hold grudges against those who wronged him?
Does the teacher honestly consider multiple viewpoints? Or does he force all the facts to fit into his preconceived theological or ideological framework?
Does the teacher come across as a real flesh-and-blood person? Does he live consistently with what he teaches (as far as you know)? Does he use natural language? Or does he use lofty language that communicates little substance other than signaling how pious he is?
NOTE: I know from my experience in the internet marketing industry, that a skilled persuasionist can fake sincerity… but only for a short while. Sooner or later his true colors will come out or else he will tire of faking and move on to his next mark. Faithfulness over time is impossible to fake.
This checklist is good not only for recognizing teachers of true wisdom, but also for preparing ourselves to receive wisdom.