Reasonable

by Scarlett Stough

Wisdom, as translated in the Amplified version of the Bible (James 3:17), is “willing to yield to reason.” The NIV chose the word “submissive” and the KJV uses “easy to be entreated” to translate the Greek word “eupeithes (2138), good for persuasion, compliant Heavenly wisdom can be freely approached, is not rigid, but is open to discussion (compliant) will not waver but will attempt in gentleness to persuade.” (The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001.)
Strong’s does not show eupeithes used anyplace else in the NT.

We’ve all heard it said of some people that "once their mind is made up, there is no changing it". Neither facts nor compassion can alter the person’s opinion, attitude or decision. Most of us have observed, or at least known of, people who have allowed emotional passion to cloud their judgment so there was no reasoning with them. Many of us can remember being in such a state at some time or other, especially in childhood.

If we desire godly wisdom, we need to be "willing to yield to reason."

When David was hiding from Saul, he and his men acted as protectors for Nabal’s flocks. Nabal, instead of rewarding David and his men, insulted them. David was furious, setting out to destroy Nabal and everyone associated with him. When Nabal’s wife Abigail was informed, she set out to appease David and to save her foolish husband and all those dependent on him.

David was willing to listen to reason. As angry as he was, he realized the wisdom of Abigail’s words and accepted her peace offering. He practiced heavenly wisdom by allowing himself to be persuaded to let go of his desire for retaliation. You can read this account in I Samuel chapter 25.

God also set us an example of being easy to be entreated when Moses pleaded with him to spare Israel the judgment and punishment they had earned (Exodus 32:1-14.)

The book of Proverbs is full of instruction on gaining wisdom. One essential attribute is listening.

He who answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame (Proverbs 18:13.)

Also included are exhortations to be careful to whom and to what you listen.

James wrote: "Everyone should be quick to listen” and “slow to become angry." He also exhorts us: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says (James 1:19-22.)"

If we want to be able to discern truth from error and make good judgments, we have to have a foundation in the Word of God. If we want to be “willing to yield to reason,” we need to know what God considers reasonable.


For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Easy to be Entreated.



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