The scripture reading for today is James 3:13-18.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful, and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envying selfish ambition, there will be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield full of mercy, and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.”
Wisdom is a trait we may long to understand and attain but are not always in the right frame of mind to practice and hone as a skill. True wisdom is a gift from above and can be practiced if we put in the time and patience to develop it with our Lord guiding us along the way.
How often have we failed when telling others to do some kind of service or activity when we ourselves have found excuses that we are too busy with our lives to do the unselfish thing or activity? Someone is always watching and by our actions and inactions we are modeling behavior for others such as our children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. I love the part of the confessional that asks for forgiveness for things undone. It makes me more aware that not acting is as inappropriate as doing something wrong in the first place.
The hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, we are in the midwinter season right now, waiting for warmer weather with tulips and sunny skies. Have our best intentions for New Year’s resolutions gone by the wayside? Let us look at this passage from James to recommit ourselves to doing good works, showing compassion and understanding instead of envy and selfishness. Let us continue our efforts in prayer so that we may grow more pure, gentle, peaceable and show loving kindness to others. May our words be calmer, less frustrated as we deal with cabin fever and long to be out and about. May tenderness to others replace irritability and insensitivity. May we continue to love God and our neighbors as ourselves and gain insight and wisdom.
Let us pray: Dear Lord, we look to you for the great wisdom form above as we deal with our daily lives. Please enable us to be patient, kind and loving to all so that we may live a peace-filled life of service to you and others. Renew in us a spirit of service to the truth and let us be an example of your love to the world. Amen.
Prayer Concern: Please pray for children who are finding their way in a troubled world.