There are some things that really are painful. One of the most painful is often when we have to get honest about some of the weaknesses in our lives.
I want to challenge each of us to read through the following verses. Read slowly. Then take some time to see where you fit in this scenario. Be honest with yourself and with God. You don’t have to share with me, but I will say, and confess, this is a piece that I have struggled with. Read on…
James 3:14-18 NLT
But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
We have all dealt with parts of our lives that ran into areas that were tough to deal with. The words these verses use open up lots of thoughts and situations in our lives. They point us to the wisdom that does not come from God nor does it please God. Literally it says these things are “demonic”.
These verses go on to talk about the origin of jealousy, bitterness and selfishness. The wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world are total opposites.
What leaves me thinking and wanting the best is the last verse. Planting seeds of peace brings a harvest. That is a harvest that only God can bring into our lives. That is something I long for… the harvest of godliness, wisdom and changed lives.
Thank you God for your work in and around my life. I confess where I fall short, where I hold grudges and where my words and actions lead people away from you. Please replace what is selfish with what points only to you. Warm those places in my life that are cold to you with your strength and love for me and for others. It is my choice to follow you and to enjoy your presence. Please remove any part of bitterness and jealousy that will keep me from experiencing the sweetness of your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.