Reflection: Sunday 19th September and for the week ahead:
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 envy and selfish ambition, there will also 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. (James 3:13-17)
James speaks in his letter about wisdom from above. Elsewhere in the Bible wisdom is described as a female presence, often equated with the Holy Spirit. The Book of Wisdom describes her in similar terms to James; she is gentle, peace-loving, graceful.
James contrasts this wisdom from above with earthly wisdom. To be worldly shrewd is not a road to peace and happiness. It may make you gleeful in the short term, but sows the seeds of discord.
It is important that every decision we take is born out of love and takes the longer perspective, God’s perspective.
This week, use your imagination and find ways to serve those around you, not because they might do you a good turn in return, but because God loves them, just as he loves you.