September 20

James 3:13-18

“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.” vs. 17

The early Christian community embraced this definition of divine wisdom and made it the the cornerstone of their life together. It remains for us a perfect description of our highest aspirations as followers of Jesus. Some might consider its sentiments as an ideal, a way of life that is impractical in a world where bullying and demonizing have become standard practice. But when we take these words to heart we are a breath of fresh air for those we encounter. We can live this way! We really can! We can be pure, peaceable, gentle, and willing to yield in all our relationships. We can be full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. There are people who live among us who live this way every day of their lives…and they are blessed! What joy they bring to their neighbors and their opponents! The contrast between this lifestyle and that which dominates our culture and political scene is striking. Of course we can’t force people to live this way…it’s hard even to convince ourselves to live purely. Often these behaviors run contrary to our nature…but we can change! Through the power of God’s Holy Spirit we can live according to the principles of divine wisdom…and God’s blessings are magnified!

Thought for the Day: What keeps people from living according to God’s wisdom?

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