17 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. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17-18 NIV)
In James 3:13-16, I noticed the contrast between Godly living and simply doing what comes naturally. James said that following my earthly, natural desires, will lead to selfish ambition and bitter envy in my life. These characteristics will eventually bring about disorder, chaos, and evil practices in my relationships with others.
In James 3:17-18, he details for me what living, not according to my wisdom, but by the wisdom of God will lead to in daily living. If I walk in the wisdom of God, if I make my highest aim to live a life pleasing to Him, according to His will and purpose for my life, then some changes will take place within me. My thoughts and actions will become more pure. I will desire, and work for, peace with those around me. I will become more considerate of others. I will become more submissive–willing to put my wants beneath serving others. My heart will become more merciful. I will become a blessing to those around me. I won’t allow prejudice or preference to affect the way I treat others. I will act from right motives.
James goes on to say, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” The word, “righteousness” in Hebrew or Greek literally means, “right relationships.” One of the benefits of living according to God’s wisdom is that I will enjoy “right relationships” with those around me.
When I live “naturally,” according to what I want, selfishness and envy are sure to surface. When they do my relationships suffer. When I submit my will to the will of God and I seek to live by His wisdom, the relationships He has given to me will prosper. How can they not prosper if I am treating others like God has treated me?
My prayer today, Lord, is that I will leave my will at home as I walk out the door and that Your will and purpose for my life will lead to the blessing of all of those I interact with today.