Peace or Chaos in James 3

Bitterness destroys wisdom.

James writes:

If you have bitter jealousy or selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  James 3:14

I’ve noticed that trouble follows some people. No matter what they do, the situation never improves. I recognize that we can experience trials of Job that are not our fault.  But decisions made from bitterness, jealousy, selfishness, or ambition destroy wisdom.

No wisdom, bad decisions!

James continues:

This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exists there is disorder and every evil thing.  James 3:14-15

Great decisions are made with wisdom.

Your life will be a blessing or a curse according to the decisions that you make. Wisdom found by humility will allow you to walk a path of blessing. We think we are making wise choices – that is our goal – but James teaches that wisdom can come from two directions.

One direction great, the other not so much.

This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic … But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy.  James 3:15-17

How can you tell the difference between wisdom from above and that which is from demons? Look for peace. If you are making decisions from earthly and natural wisdom, you will not have peace, no matter how wealthy, educated, or powerful.

If you make decisions based upon the wisdom from above, you will have peace.

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  James 3:18

Peace is a fruit of God’s Spirit.

Do others have peace or trouble in their lives? I’ve noticed that disorder can become the familiar spirit in which some enjoy living. They are bitter and rumormongering, seeking to stir up trouble, and through that trouble, to promote their selfish ambition.

Have you heard the quote, “Never let a crisis go to waste”? Where does this wisdom originate? What and who gains?

The terrible price of not following the wisdom from above is chaos. The crisis of chaos is wisdom from below to enable control. Create chaos, then others retreat or give up and ambition advances; create more chaos, more retreat or give up, and jealous mayhem takes another step.

Step by bitter step. Chaos and control.

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. He gave up control to give us peace.

The adversary will cry, “Peace, peace.” The decisions made upon that wisdom bring the counterfeit of peace – control.

Follow the advice from the Book of James this week:

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.  James 3:14

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