“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving…..” James 3:17
Society talks about peace. Peace among country-men, peace between nations, religions, view points, neighbors, within our family. How do you define peace? What does peace look like? Is it everyone getting along? Agreeing to the same thing? Living in harmony with no conflict? We saw earlier that wisdom from heaven is pure, today I want to take a look at the next characteristic, peace-loving.
I am a recovering people pleaser, I find it very easy for me to mistake peace-loving and people pleasing. I will tell myself that I don’t want to cause waves, I want to “keep the peace” but if I take a few moments to look closely at my motives is that really why I want to respond in a particular fashion? Often its because I don’t want that other person mad at me, to choose someone else over me, I am afraid they will think less of me, fill in the blank; it is about keeping that other person happy with me. I am working on being more conscious of this even in the very small things I respond to.
Isaiah says that one of Jesus’ name is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus is to be my example. In the gospels, what I don’t see Jesus doing is reacting in situations rather he responds. Jesus did not please everyone, in fact it seemed that often in his ministry someone was upset and angry with him. We also see him challenging the disciples to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile. Jesus was peace loving; his ways were peaceful.
We see Paul talking about peace, peace that passes all understanding. It says in Philippians – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God ; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ( NKJV 4:6-7) Here is what caught my eye – it is the peace of God and I get it only when I bring my prayers before Jesus.
I am beginning to see that true peace-loving is tied to my relationship with Jesus.
Mornings around here can be a bit of a challenge. One of my boys wakes up full of energy & loud and the other likes to have things a bit quieter in the morning. More than once this has been a point of contention, of conflict in our mornings. My attitude response tends to be on a sliding scale, not disturbing my attitude to irritation. The key for me tends to be how connected I am to Jesus at that moment. Spending time with him helps me to respond with a different motive, one of peace, versus a response that points to the fact that I am irritated.
Peace can and does create conflict sometimes. Why? Because we are humans and we struggle with making life about us.
The wisdom that I want is peace-loving. It loves peace. That does not mean that I will avoid conflict with other people, but my motive should be living in harmony with those around me. Grace and love is experienced not anger and hostility. Conflict is not equal to aggression or violence; conflict to me is when we don’t agree, there is opposition somewhere; often it is not the person but the idea or thought that they are speaking and/or acting out.
True wisdom will not trigger me to anger, pride, or meanness but propel me to grace, love, compassion and opportunities for restoration, redemption, and growth. It may trigger conflict and here is why. Sometimes the truth causes conflict simply because it is the truth. When that happens it is often because it’s not what the other person(s) want, what they expected, or what they think the solution is. Our humanity and free will fights against agreeing with Truth.
I like that wisdom has many characteristics because it is the collective characteristics that help me to have healthy boundaries, not be a people pleaser and help me to keep my pride in check. (Just to name a few) My attitude towards people, towards conflict, towards problems, towards a decision, towards daily life takes on a different look as I seek to follow Jesus and His example. It begins to look more like wisdom with each step I take.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy & good fruit, impartial, sincere.” James 3:17 NIV
Today…..learning to follow, listen and obey; trusting in the ONE who loves me and HE loves you too.
Visual reminders help me remember what I am learning, I have a free 8×11 of James 3:17 or Bookmark available to download & print out.
DOWNLOAD HERE: James317FullPage
Download HERE: James 3:17 BookMark
Scripture quotations taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version
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