“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
I read James 3-5 this morning, and this passage got me thinking. I think one of the goals I have as a parent is to promote peace in our home and to teach my children to be peacemakers – with each other and with others. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the ultimate peacemaker. He has made me to be at peace with God by reconciling me through His blood shed to atone for my sin. By His grace, through faith in Him, I have peace with my Creator and I am His child.
If I harbor any kind of bitterness or self-seeking in my heart, and allow it to go unchecked, then that is not wise, but foolish. I know that I am very selfish at heart. This is a daily, minute-by-minute struggle. I don't want confusion and evil to be the tone of my home, but I want the tone to be one of peace. Learning to live in righteousness is not easy. It is hard work. It is necessary. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can I hope to grow in sanctification. I must not rely upon my own strength. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9). I want to see the fruit of righteousness in my life. I want to sow the fruit of righteousness in peace as one who makes peace. To teach my children these things, I must first be practicing them. To be wise – pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield (oh this is so hard at times!), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. May it be so, Lord, Jesus. May I learn to purge self-seeking and bitter envy from my heart. I want to be wise, not foolish! I don’t want confusion and evil to reign, but the wisdom of good conduct, meekly submitted to my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, learning to walk in His wisdom with a pure heart.