17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. James 3:17-18
Peace in these days is hard to come by. Seeds of discontent and dissent are sown daily in our society, producing nothing like a harvest of righteousness. Those negative feelings have affected nearly every facet of our lives, like our families, communities, workplaces, friendships and even congregations.
James writes that the process of divine wisdom is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy… without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.
Most days, I struggle to lean into those qualities. Other times, I feel like all I do is yield and that people walk all over me. Then, my gentleness erodes into irritation. Perhaps I don’t set good boundaries for myself.
Speaking truth to our individual realities is so, so important as is listening to that of others. If we don’t have safe spaces to share those feelings and fears, we turn in ourselves and have no way to participate in sowing peace. We cannot produce good fruit.
My encouragement to you this day, and I speak this from my own restless heart, is to think about the situations or relationship in which you are struggling to make peace. What’s the actual conflict? Is the feeling really anger? Or is it grief or regret at a relationship lost?
If you are struggling with a resentment that evokes unrest and conflict between you and another person, take a small step toward making peace. Infuse that step with peace and purity, not one where you are right and the other is wrong. Before even taking that step, imagine that it demonstrates love and mercy… and trust that the Spirit would guide you to a reconciliation with greater understanding.
We can be grateful that God won’t have given up on us on the days we’ve not been exactly peaceful and gentle. That’s a good reminder and motivation that there is hope—hope for you and the one with whom you are seeking to make peace.
May peace in Christ find you and be yours, my friends.