faith in action

James 3: 17,18

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Read all of James Chapter 3 here

Wisdom from above will cause us to be gentle and easy to be intreated. We are going to consider these two together, because they seem to work hand in hand to a certain extent. One Bible translation refers to these as being gentle and reasonable, which seems like a good choice of words to use.

Gentle can be defined as, “equitable, fair, mild, gentle.” Easy to be intreated can be defined as, “Led easily obeying, compliant.”

James is speaking from a position of experience and authority as he writes his epistle. In all likelihood, this is the very James who back in Acts Chapter 15 averted the schism between Jewish and Gentile believers in the Church at Antioch. If readers remember, there was trouble brewing in that church as the issue concerning believers continuing to follow Mosaic Law or not festered and threatened to divide that church. In fact, it threatened to divide the entire early church into Jewish and Gentile encampments.

James was able to come up with a solution which more or less made everyone happy. Additionally, the willingness of the two sides to be gentle and reasonable concerning the other side  made the solution work. Read the story, it is a great one.

Most importantly, James showed the value of compromise without compromising Biblical truth. He never once backed down from the position of Salvation being of faith and not works. He never conceded that adherence to Mosaic Law AND faith was needed for salvation. He stood firm on that correct position. He simply asked that the Gentile believers agree to bend on a couple of secondary issues which were very offensive to the Jewish believers in the church.

Worldly wisdom seeks a fight; Godly wisdom seeks peace. Worldly wisdom is confrontational; Godly wisdom is peaceable. Worldly wisdom seeks it’s own way on all issues; Godly wisdom is willing to bend for peace on non essentials.