Righteous Peace

Jen Petersen

Read: James 3:13-18

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (v. 17)

When I was ordained as a minister, there were a lot of words spoken—words of advice and encouragement, and of truth and challenge. Some of the words were unique to me and some were words that have been said at thousands of services ordaining ministers over many many years. The words that I think about almost daily come from the promises that I made. On the day of my ordination, I promised to seek “the things that make for unity, purity, and peace.”

Sometimes it can feel like those three things are in competition with one another. In the family of God, we often find ourselves arguing about what it means to seek purity, and then it feels like we’re sacrificing peace and unity. If we focus on unity despite our different opinions, it can feel like we’re choosing unity over purity. So are we seeking after God more when we focus on purity or when we focus on peace?

James reminds us that all of these things hold together in God. As we seek to follow God in righteousness, our actions will reflect God’s mercy as well. When we disagree with one another with gentleness, we’ll be open to hearing what God might be saying to us through one another. When we don’t know how to pursue purity and peace together, we can ask God for wisdom to help us along the way. —Jen Petersen 

As you pray, ask God for his wisdom.