How are we supposed to differentiate between earthly and heavenly wisdom? We might be totally sincere and selfless in our heart and mind, and yet be judged by others as being very selfish, holier than thou, and not with “pure intentions.” We have to rely on what is in our heart, and accept that others may think our good works are not pure.
At the same time, we may consider our good works selfish in nature because we know others who will look favorably towards us because of what we are doing, even though it is not our intent to impress others.
Does our conscious awareness of purpose prove enough in the separation of earthly and heavenly wisdom?
The book of James says that “jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom.” But, even God is a jealous God. Does that make him “earthly?” I don't think so.
“For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.” James 3:15
Is James speaking God's word, or what he believes God wants and expects of us? We have to think this through as is writings are James words, not God's word.
Living earthly and heavenly
We can strive to live a heavenly life, but we are earthly. If we are to reach others, helping them to know Christ, we must walk among them and show them how God has changed us. The lessons in James book seem impossible for us to live entirely. God knows we cannot live this way, as we are human, and we all sin.
James seems a very harsh figure who is preaching a very strict diet that is not forgiving and accepting of our sins.
We cannot control the hearts and intentions of others and to live a heavenly life in our earthly world is to invite attacks of jealousy and selfishness from others.
Ultimately, we are not God; we are human. Our natural tendencies are to sin, and God knows this. Our mission is to do God's will as Christians. God is forgiving, and we need to be forgiving.