Saturday, January 14, 2017

James 3:16-18 -- On Making Peace

"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 3:16-18

I like the idea here at the end of the selection of sowing peace, and making peace.  Envy, strife, confusion, and evil are set up as enemies or opposites of that peace, and wisdom, purity, gentleness, mercy, impartiality, etc., its allies.

Usually when I think of peace-making, I think of avoiding arguments, or turning a tense moment into a hilarious one with well-timed wit.  And perhaps it is those things in a very minute measure.  But these verses show that it is so much more.  The actual growing of and the creation of peace isn't just a calm disposition or a talent of deflection.  It's a long-term commitment to developing and cultivating good--schooling ourselves to do the right thing even when strife or proving ourselves right is more tempting.  It's truly believing that God's way is the better way and living it, even when we see that others do not, and when God's way seems a disadvantage in a corrupt world.  It is bringing peace to every situation that we are in, even when strife is expected, or even encouraged.

Today, let's not allow ourselves to react with anger or malice.  Let's take peace more seriously, and seek it in all that we do.  Perhaps we can invest more time and commitment to peace in our homes, jobs, relationships, and overall lives.  Let's remember Christ's reminder: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9).  Let's seek God's will, and *make* his peace, in ourselves, for our neighbor and communities, and for our society and world.

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