Saturday, November 5, 2016

James 3:13-18 -- On Wisdom and Peace

"Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
James 3:13-18

This is good advice about being wise, and what that means and what it doesn't mean.  A good reminder for us about the ingredients that go into wisdom and peace.  It's tough sometimes to know how to promote peace or to have peace in our lives, with the confusion and chaos that is ever churning in our society, but God gives us some pretty broad hints elsewhere in the scriptures when he says that there is no peace to the wicked (Isaiah 48:22, 57:21; 1 Nephi 20:22).  The last verse sums up essentially the opposite of that, telling us that if we plant peace we will reap righteousness.

I like the words here "them that make peace."  I've heard the term peacemaker many times before, but I don't think I had ever thought about it much until today.  Making peace isn't just refocusing our attention on the good things rather than the bad things.  It's probably partly that, but the emphasis here is on bringing calm and peace to the turbulence and war that is all around us.  Just as Christ said to the sea in Mark 4:39, we can also say "Peace, be still" to not only our inner turmoil, but to external events as well.  We can set good examples and be a force for good, by literally making peace.

Today, let's be the peacemakers.  Let's review these verses and copy down the recipes. :)  Let's plant peace in our lives and in the world around us, and let's find the true righteousness and wisdom that God offers us.

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