February 20, 2021
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
How many quarrels could be solved or stopped before they began if we were to read this passage each morning? Is our “wisdom” of the flesh or of the spirit? Do we seek to understand each other with patience and humility or the need to be right or to have the last word? Both James and Paul’s writings to the Galatians urge believers to turn away from the wisdom of the world and seek the wisdom of the spirit, or of “heaven.” While Paul emphasizes that our faith brings righteousness, James tells us that our righteousness is the harvest of our peacemaking and the deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. Either way, it is only by sacrificing the self and deciding instead to serve others with the fruits of the spirit or with the wisdom of heaven that our relationships are able to thrive.