A Harvest of Righteousness

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.              ~James 3:17-18


This really grabbed me.  I’ve read it many times, in many versions, but for some reason, God flagged it this time.  What IS a harvest of righteousness?  Well, the thing that comes immediately to my mind is my children.  Is there anything a Christian mother desires more fervently than children who love the Lord? 


I have great kids, but I’m often impatient, lacking in gentleness, and I’m afraid that sometimes my motives simply aren’t pure.  In far too many cases, I may be more motivated by my own comfort and desires than by what is best for the child.  I do try to be open to reason, sincere, merciful, and impartial, but I’m not sure how well I succeed.  Ah, who am I kidding?  I know that I fail miserably most of the time. 


I have a tendency to be too analytical (yes, here I go again) and I love to read.  I have read LOTS of books on child raising.  I do feel like I’ve gained a lot of valuable information from them, but what I haven’t gained is the ability to put it into practice.  So many times, I understand the concept, but the actual working of it eludes me.


At first glance, this passage from James could be another ladder to climb, another formula to work on–okay, first, I need to be pure (well, as much as possible) then peaceable (okay, working on that) and next comes gentleness (um, need some work here)… but really, I have to admit that it’s impossible.  That first verse isn’t talking about ME.  It’s talking about the Wisdom that comes from ABOVE.  Ohhh…  Yeah.  No wonder it wasn’t working for me.  It’s describing God! 


Which of course is the answer.  I can’t do it.  I can’t raise up a “harvest of righteousness.”  How could I possibly do that when I am first of all IMpure?  Only God can do it.  And yes, He can do it through me, but I need to sow in peace.  When I look at my relationship with my children, I’m afraid that too often, I don’t see peace. 


This harvest I want is only available through making peace.  Making peace with whom?  With God, perhaps?  I say I love Him, say I serve and am devoted to Him, but in reality I am often still fighting Him.  To reap a harvest of righteousness, it is absolutely essential that I give control to HIM.  Then that peace that exists between us allows free commerce–He is able to invest in me.  His resources become available to me.


I simply can’t let my Self get in the way. And frankly, it’s happening right this very minute.  I war within myself, debating what is the best plan, and much as I try, I have a hard time knowing how to completely let go.  Is it possible?  Will I ever find that perfect peace in this life?  Will I ever be totally given over to God’s will and to His will only?


I have rambled through an amazingly long chain of thoughts while writing this, so if it’s disjointed, that’s why.  I’d appreciate your feedback.


 

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About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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6 Responses to A Harvest of Righteousness

  1. BooksForMe says:

    First of all, SunnySusan shared a good devo on peace this week…you might enjoy it.Being born-again, in my opinion, has given God that access to sow into us.  We have peace with God, because of what Christ did for us.  If we think we must do anything in order for Him to gain that access, than we are actually trying to take glory away from Christ’s work on the cross.  I think God is more in control than we realize.  Our inner struggle has more to do with our limited perspective, than reality.  We have to surrender, but that’s easy. When we pray, “I surrender,” the Holy Spirit goes to work to make sure don’t make liars of ourself…so to speak!  He keeps showing us what we have to let go of, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t let go of anything!   It’s such a gee-golly process, you know?  Ultimately, it must all be a work of Christ, so that only He receives the glory.

  2. Wow, great entry AND great music!  I was in Mark today and was again reminded of the greatest commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. So, don’t think up formulas. When we are loving God with our whole selves and putting others first, I think the rest just falls into place. It’s a by-product.

  3. lookin4Jesus says:

    What a subject you have opened up! It is one that has concerned me for years as we raised our children and tried to use the right blend of discipline yet not “provoke them to wrath”. It seems like after we learn a little more how to do it and we learn from our mistakes, our children are raised. I guess we need to lean on our Father for guidance and direction, then give our children to Him. I would love to “teach” my children and spare them from all the mistakes I’ve made, but they must learn on their own as I did. And you’re right ~ there’s things only God can teach them. I was in Pensacola, FL last week and heard a message by Becka Horton who taught school for many years, give a talk on “Teenage Rebellion.” It was super. She said she taught for about 15 years before she really learned to recognize and deal with it. With all her experience I felt her advice was very valuable. I wish I had listened to this many years ago, but we can still use and profit from it. I would say the most important thing she taught us was to recognize it, to not give in, but to be calm, not to take the “bait” and argue, but be firm and unyielding. If you’d like to listen, you can order the DVD through ABeka. It’s called “Teenage Rebellion” and I feel is well worth the time and money. Through many of the heartaches and struggles we have been through with our children God has given me many precious promises through His word, at times when I’ve cried out to Him. He has assured me they are in His hands and He has given me “peace that passes understanding.” Yes, we are impure and only He can truly give the “harvest of righteousness.” So we keep praying…….

  4. homefire says:

    @lookin4Jesus – That sounds like a super talk!  I’ll have to look and see how much it is.  I just read a book called Have a New Kid By Friday, which sounds a lot like some of the things she said.  One thing where I have failed SO much is that I tend to argue with them.  My kids have learned that if they start an argument, Mom will jump right in and try to reason with them.  It took me a long time to realize that this was a MAJOR hindrance, and it’s taking even longer to overcome it.  Bad habits dies hard.  None of my kids are outright rebellious (in the horrible ways I was) but they definitely like to yank Mom’s string!  @BooksForMe – I think the whole lack of peace in my life is due to my habit of being indecisive and second-guessing myself.  What is that–Fear?  Fear that I will make or have made a wrong decision, I suppose.  I have always operated under the assumption that every decision is vital, and I must find the right one, and unfortunately, I often do nothing at all rather than do something wrong.  And sometimes “nothing at all” turns out to be the wrongest thing I could possibly do, kwim?    What I really want is for God to tell me, specifically, every move to make–then I could be peaceful, LOL!  I don’t ask much, do I?  @TeacherPerson – glad you like the music.    And you are so right.  I know that formulas are not the answer, I know that…  but I still find myself looking for one sometimes.  Just like when I first read this and thought, aha!  Child-raising tips!    Like I said, I went through a lot of stuff (and erased a lot of stuff) while writing this.  My thoughts changed a lot from the first keystroke to the last, and there probably is a lot more refining that will be done.

  5. lookin4Jesus says:

    @homefire – How well I understand the arguing bit! That’s me too. My kids definitely “pulled my string” and then I always regretted it so badly. Why couldn’t I just keep my cool? But after listening to this DVD I am somehow able to keep my cool better; I know I have to give credit to the Lord for helping me here. The DVD is $20.

  6. I’m tellin ya….long lost twins  lol  I have one child in particular who knows how to get me into an argument. I fall for it every time  Who’s the grownup here??  Renee

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