James 3:13–17 ‘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)
God’s overarching will is for the wellbeing of humanity. This is lost the moment we break the very simple rules established by God for the enrichment of society; and society includes everyone, without exception. A shortage of tankers delivering fuel to garage forecourts provoked a stampede of selfishness as drivers raced to fill up. I was touched listening to a young mum of five in our church as she filled her vehicle, needed for school runs and work, half full to ensure petrol was available for others. Her eldest remonstrated with her, yet she used it as an object lesson to explain that as Christians we don’t stampede, we serve God’s will through serving others.
Such wisdom offers us the keys to a rich community experience. It leads us from fear to love. It is the only way that we can put others first, looking out for the stranger with as much concern as we look out for ourselves (Phil. 2:3–4). It creates a peaceful environment and encourages those human behaviours that fertilise God’s kingdom seed sown in every human heart. James gives us a short list of characteristics that can act as our starter for ten. Are we up for the challenge? Effective change requires personal choice born of God’s grace.
Scripture to consider: Prov. 2:6–11; Dan. 2:19–23; 2 Cor. 5:18–21; Eph. 5:15–21.
An action to take: What are the changes in attitude and action that you might consider for the wellbeing of society?
A prayer to make: ‘Lord, enable me to love others like I love myself, and care for what matters to them as I care for myself. Amen.’
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash