James 3:17-18 says, “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 raise a harvest of righteousness.”
It is believed that James, the brother of Jesus wrote this general epistle. The letter is written to the church in general; to Christians in all places and ages.
According to the Jewish historian Josephus, High Priest Ananus, who was a Sadducee, had James brought before the Sanhedrin, who then ordered him stoned to death in 62 A.D. Thus, the Book of James would have been written before 60 A.D., and some belief as early as 50 A.D.
The first quality of wisdom listed is purity; thus, we ask God to create in us a pure heart. In a pure heart, the seeds of God’s peace and righteousness become manifest in the gift of wisdom. Heavenly wisdom rejects evil without hesitation. Just as Jesus rejected Satan’s temptation without hesitation (Matt. 4:1-10).
Heavenly wisdom is the opposite of wisdom that is earthly, animalistic, and demonic. Heavenly wisdom is pure, undefiled; it is at home in the heart and mind that is pure and clean.
The wisdom from heaven infuses our hearts with peace; peace that will take us out of our way to establish good relations with others (parents, siblings, children, extended family and neighbors). Jesus said, Happy are the peacemakers, since they will be called “sons of God.”
Being considerate to others does not insist on “my way or no way” mentality; but weighs interactions with kindness. Our thoughts are weighed against Scripture, seeking to reason and act as would Jesus Christ.
Heavenly wisdom facilitates a spirit of humility and willingness to respond to others according to the Scriptures. While making decisions, whether right or wrong; we are called to make the word of God our guide and ultimate authority.
In baring fruit we are compassionate; with our resources we help those in distresses and who are afflicted. We are called to listen to the voice of our heart, saying, “What can I do to help?”
Our interactions line-up with goodness, righteousness and truth (Eph 5:9). Our interactions are not at the mercy of outward appearance, position, wealth or status; we strive to be impartial in our quest to help and benefit our families, communities and those in need.
Righteousness stands up for truth; righteousness lives in harmony with the word of God. The word of God enters our hearts and minds with gifts of peace, tranquillity, and freedom from Satan and the sinful ways of humankind. Righteousness is spiritual prosperity; it is the facilitator of spiritual growth.
Father in heaven, thank you for transcending space and time to be in our mists; in our hearts and minds; and in our lives guiding, directing and facilitating our understanding of spirituality. Thank you for revealing that we are more than a bag of flesh and bones; that we are in fact, body, soul, and spirit. Thank you for revealing that You are Spirit, and that You are present in and among us, your sons and daughters created in your image and likeness.
Lord, bless us to be wise, bless to know your word, bless us in our fellowship with your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Bless us to love everybody we see, bless us to be light in darkness, and bless us to live our lives helping and benefiting others in accord with your word and your will. In Jesus name we pray. Amen