Jas 3:16-18 “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 intreated, 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.”
There is great harm in human malice (envying) and division (strife). We see the proof of it on every front. Envy and a desire to divide people are often at the root of bullying. Our governments are running over with jealousy and divisiveness. We often find this in the work place when there are two people (or groups of people) who are seeking to gain preeminence in some way. Worse than that, our churches fall prey to this great malady of envying and strife.
When we look to God first, areas where there is envy and strife are easily located. If you have a situation where there is constant confusion you will find jealousy and division. Where people are constantly trying to sabotage each other you will find envy and strife. Gossiping and bearing false witness are signs of envy and strife.
We often try to cover these things by prefacing our comments with statements like “I probably shouldn’t say anything, but…” Any time we are in a situation where we start a sentence in this way, we need to stop and take our own advice. We need to bridle our tongue and turn away from malice and division and all the other evil (flawed, wicked) works that these things stir up.
Again, the word of God gives us the answer to these issues and a way of escape. We need to ask God for wisdom that is from above, knowing that He has promised to give wisdom abundantly to those who seek it. Wisdom that is from above does not engage in malice and division. It does not bring confusion because it comes from God, and His word tells us that He is not the author of confusion (1Co 14:33).
Wisdom that is from above (from the first or the beginning – see Strong’s) originates with God. The first order of this wisdom is purity (perfect, innocent): there is no malice or division in it. The wisdom from above is peaceable: there is reconciliation in the peace of God. Wisdom that is from above is gentle: there is moderation and patience in this peace.
God’s wisdom is easy to be intreated: it is persuasive and calls us away from evil. The wisdom from above is full of divine compassion and rejects confusion. This wisdom has a good outcome. It is neither a respecter of persons (partiality) nor a source of hypocrisy. Wisdom from above enables us to be sowers.
The fruit of righteousness is scattered (as in sowing) so that it covers the field of God’s choosing. It is done so in peace: it eliminates confusion and evil works. Those that make peace, according to the wisdom of God, are blessed to sow the fruit of righteousness in that peace. There is nothing here for man to boast in: our peace comes from God, our righteousness is in Jesus Christ, and our wisdom in these things comes to us by the power of the Holy Ghost.
May the wisdom that is from above guide our steps, fill our labor, comfort God’s people, and give us grace to give Him glory!