And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. - James 3:18
This verse has always caused me pause. It’s message is a bit complicated, so it takes a moment to decipher it’s meaning. After comparing the two types of wisdom, James summarizes the most important information in the passage with his analogy for peace.
Using the agricultural analogy so popular at the time, James reminds us we reap what we sow. If we plant seeds in peace, then we will reap righteousness. Righteousness is doing what’s right in the eyes of our God and Father. It’s living according to His law, and following His counsel in all things. Given our sinful nature, righteousness is not something we can achieve in our strength. On our own, we are simply too self-focused and our efforts lead to self-promotion and self-righteousness. We need the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts to truly be righteous in our actions in the eyes of God. It is only when we submit to the Spirit, that our words and our actions glorify Him.
So how do we achieve this righteousness? How do we allow the Spirit to do its work in our hearts? We strive for peace in everything. If our goal is righteousness, then our interactions must be peaceful. A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. We will achieve righteousness if we plant in peace.
We should consistently be striving for peace. Every interaction we have, every piece of advice we give, every discernment, every decision - the ultimate goal should always, only be for peace. In a world teeming with conflict, we are to be the peacemakers. Our energy and our focus should be on making peace in every area of influence we have. This is what will glorify Him and bring righteousness.
Personally, I am challenged in a few relationships in my life to always strive for peace. It requires consistently pulling back and reminding myself of the bigger picture, it requires consistent sacrifice and putting the needs of the other before my own, it requires consistent humility and and abundance of mercy and grace, but I have seen His hand at work where I have sown peace despite the pressure toward conflict. When we strive to make peace, we are doing the work of the Kingdom, and He is glorified.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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