‘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.’ (v17) James 3:13–18

Behaviour originates within each of us. Knowing how we’re expected to behave, and then behaving in that way, is never guaranteed. It depends on what we allow to initiate our behaviour.

Looking back, I can recall behaviour where I’ve disappointed myself. When I’m the centre of my world, then my behaviour is selfish. If I’m fearful, I may fail in my responsibility to love my neighbour.

One great battle we have in deepening our friendship with God is in living lives that reveal God’s faith, hope and love. Previous mistakes are easily confessed, forgiven and forgotten. Yet, when that forgetfulness extends to my present and future behaviour, I’m in danger of creating a cycle of behaviours that are as damaging to me as they are to others.

The apostles, writing to the early church, were at pains to point out that choosing God was to embrace a lifestyle often at odds with contemporary standards of behaviour. The New Testament offers us instruction both on what God requires and how such requirements are realised through prayer and obedience.

The letters were sent to the Church; for we are accountable to God most effectively when we are mutually accountable, or known, to each other. A word of encouragement, or a gentle rebuke, have been the tools I’ve needed to help me nurture my walk with God. It’s how we each learn to live every day with Jesus.

RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: 1 Chron. 29:10–19; Jer. 7:1–15; Phil. 1:27–30; Col. 3:1–17.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: Take time at the end of the day, or each week, to reflect on your behaviour. Does it reflect the best of God, or are there areas that would benefit from some attention?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to draw on God’s wisdom and live as He intends. Amen.’

Photo by Chiara Coetzee on Flickr

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.