March 8, 2017
READ: James 3:13-18
Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness (v.18).
My carpenter friend accidentally cut off a car as he made a lane change. The man driving the car came alongside my friend’s vehicle, shook his fist in anger and sped off. My friend felt bad and wanted to somehow atone for his driving mistake.
Soon the driver of the car pulled into the car park of the company he worked for, parked his car and went inside. My friend steered his van into the same car park and went into the building to apologise. The man was disarmed by my friend’s peace-making ways and they ended up having a good conversation. At the conclusion of their time together, my friend gave the man one of his handyman business cards. Later, the man hired him to do a project at his home!
James emphasised the importance of our pursuit of peace with others. As part of his “wisdom from God” passage, he implored the recipients of his letter—persecuted Jewish believers in Jesus—to seek peace even in the midst of conflict. He wrote, “Wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times and willing to yield to others” (v.17). These qualities aren’t natural in our fallen human condition. We’re prone to live out things like “selfish ambition” and “favouritism” (vv.16-17).
So where did my friend’s peace-making ways come from? I believe they’re the result of the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Over the years, my friend has sought wisdom from God and has prayerfully strived to submit to the Spirit’s work. God enabled him to pursue the path of peace instead of road rage. As James wrote, “Peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” (v.18).
By the Spirit’s power, may we also drive for peace today!
365-day plan: Judges 6:1-40
Read Matthew 5:9 and consider what Jesus said about those who seek peace with others.
Who have you been engaged in conflict with recently? How can the Holy Spirit help you pursue peace with them? How are wisdom and peace connected?