June 29 - James 3:17-18

Sunday, June 30, 2013

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Not only did Jesus and Paul have something to say about peace, but James spoke about it as well.

The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure … then peace-loving.  That speaks worlds to me.  The wisdom that comes from heaven loves peace.

My father was a peacemaker.  There was a man who came in to see Dad every month or so when we first moved into town.  All he wanted to do was spew hatred and venom.  Dad told us that he had never heard such cursing as this man would do.  He was filled with anger and hurt and desperately needed to share it with someone who would listen.

Now, in most cases, this man’s vitriol spurred his listener to action. They would react and respond to him in a manner which encouraged his rage, but not Dad. He knew that no matter what this man said, it wasn't about him … it was about the pain that was ravaging this guy from the inside out, so Dad didn't react; he simply let the man go.  At the end of the monologue, Dad would always ask if there was anything he could do and then asked if they could pray together. The first few times the man showed up in Dad’s office, he stalked out. He had definitely not gotten the response he was used to and became frustrated.

Soon, though, Dad’s response allowed this man to open up. His life wasn't changed overnight. He didn't all of a sudden release the anger and become a staunch member of the church, but he trusted Dad.  He still came in and spewed venom and vitriol all over Dad, but each time it didn't last quite so long and during each visit, they were able to spend more time actually talking about things that were hurting the poor man.

Our natural inclination is to react with a fight or flight mechanism.

Wisdom tells us to respond in peace.

Be a peacemaker.