“And the fruit of righteousness I shown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:18)
What I reflect on in our current day is how we love controversy, discord, disruption, chaos, pride, and so much more. We don’t mind creating chaos. We have come to a place as conservative American Christians where we like our power and we will “fight” to keep it, thank you very much.
As a result, everything is a threat.
This is not the way of wisdom. This is not reflective of the beauty of the Kingdom.
This is not wisdom.
We are faced, then, with two kinds of wisdom. This may well be a word for our day, when so many people across the world are fed up with the way their country is run, with the way their police force behaves, with the way the global economy functions, and so on. Often these criticisms are fully justified, as they certainly would have been in James’s own day. But the challenge then for God’s people is to be able to tell the truth about the way the world is, and about the way wicked people are behaving, without turning into a perpetual grumble, and in particular without becoming someone whose appearance of ‘wisdom’ consists in being able to find a cutting word to say about everyone and everything. There is still, after all, a vast amount of beauty, love, generosity and sheer goodness in the world. Those who follow Jesus ought not only to be celebrating it but contributing to it. It’s better, as the saying goes, to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Wright, T. (2011). Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John and Judah (p. 24). SPCK; Westminster John Knox Press.
Our challenge today is find the wisdom of Christ. The challenge is to see the true beauty and generosity in the world around us. Too many Christians I know today are bent on complaining and pointing out the wrong with the world and spending too little time finding the beauty around them. We struggle to find the goodness in people.
If we have a political opponent, we don’t find that opponent to be a “good” person. We have gone past the day of disagreeing on policy and still finding common ground. No. We must make people perpetual enemies.
This is not wisdom. This is not the way of Jesus.
Embrace the good. Celebrate the beauty. And it’s not only in your own “tribe.” Look for where the goodness of God may dwell and you just may find a larger world and larger love and just begin to grasp how GREAT our God may be!
One thought on “Our preference for chaos and division”
Reblogged this on Perspectives from R. E. Ayres and commented:
Grateful for the many insights of my friend and colleague, Rev. Dan Thompson. He reminds us that as followers of Jesus, we are called to be respectful of all including those with whom we disagree.