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.