James – pt. 13

James 3:17-18

This passage is not the easiest. Just listen.

“Wisdom from above is pure.” Will we always listen to and act with that wisdom? No. But if it’s from God, it’s pure.

“It is also peace loving.” How many people do you know who like to keep things stirred up? Is it ever wise?

“Gentle at all times.” Do we speak harshly to others? Or do we treat them with gentleness?

This next one is really hard. “Willing to yield to others.” Ouch. We don’t like doing that. We like to have our own way. But sometimes a different way is better. And sometimes it just doesn’t matter and it’s better to keep the peace than to stand your ground That’s where the wisdom comes in. You have to know when and how to pick your battles. Which hills to die on and which ones to just roll down.

“It is full of mercy.” Also hard. While grace and mercy go hand in hand, it feels like mercy is even harder than grace. We tend to want people to “get what they deserve”. But praise be to God when we don’t get what we deserve! And just like showing others God’s love, we should also show them His grace and mercy.

“The fruit of good deeds.” Good deeds with eventually produce good results. Living for Jesus and doing His work will produce good fruit.

“It shows no favoritism.” This sounds easy in theory, but is harder to actually practice. God doesn’t want us to look at people with prejudices, either stereotypical or otherwise preconceived. God loves all people and expects us to treat all of His children the same.

“Is always sincere.” Like most of the traits that come with wisdom, this one takes time and practice. We start out doing good things and treating people well because we know we are supposed to. Maybe we even do it in a reluctant manner (see “shows no favoritism”). But as we give more of ourselves to Jesus, and listen to and learn from His wisdom, we will want to do good because we care.

“And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” Who do you know that doesn’t want peace? Is that not something we all want? For some of us it may be harder to find. Through the circumstances we live through, or even our nature, we tend to live in a state of turmoil. But true peace comes from Jesus. Those who are called to be peacemakers must rely on the wisdom of God’s Spirit to help bring the peace of Jesus to others. If we rely on His wisdom, we will reap righteousness and good things.

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