James 3:17 [NLT]: But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
The 1970 film Patton, which I believe is fairly accurate historically, portrays the great WWII general George S. Patton as a man who believed that war was the whole reason for his existence. In fact, Patton believed that he had been re-incarnated multiple times, and that in each of his lifetimes he had been a great war leader. When Patton was temporarily relieved of his commanding duties after an outburst of anger in which he humiliated a soldier, Patton had no idea what to do with himself. Such a desire and drive for battle may be useful in the theatre of war, but it is not the Christian approach to life.
The wisdom of God will not lead us to angry outbursts. It will not engage in stirring up trouble between people. It will not feed on conflict, and it will not settle for situations that demean and harm others. Instead, the wisdom of God will lead us to do what makes for peace.
In Colossians, the apostle Paul declared that Jesus Christ has made peace between God and sinful humanity by means of his own blood which he shed on the cross (Col. 1:19-20). Therefore, we who believe in Jesus should “let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts” as we worship and serve together in the church (Col. 3:15). The wisdom of God will lead us to strive for harmony and well-being in our families, in our neighborhoods and workplaces, and in the body of Christ. Now, we should make the connection here between this characteristic of godly wisdom and the principle contained in James 3:18. Verse 18 says, “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” That is, peacemakers – in their work of bringing and maintaining peace – sow seeds that eventually grow into a full harvest of righteous living within their families, congregations, neighborhoods, and workplaces. Peace promotes the growth of righteousness.
Let us therefore live in the peace Christ has given to us. Let us embrace the wisdom of God which loves peace and reject the “demonic” wisdom which promotes “jealousy and selfish ambition” and “disorder and evil of every kind” (James 3:14-16).