James 3: The Forest Fire Set Ablaze
Everything in the world revolves around choices. We have the choice to get up in the morning and get the day started, or to lay in bed and be lazy all day. We have the choice to eat salad or cake. We also have the choice of what we say to others. We can use our word to build others up, or to tear them down. We have the choice to speak kindly in love, or to say hateful, rude things to those we love. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire (verse 5).
Live in Good Conduct
The things people tell us to do or not do in this world are things that humans have created. The “status quo” of our culture is something people have created, not God. If you want to show your works (1:22-27), you must have wisdom from above, living in good conduct.
A Harvest of Righteousness
Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on those things that are pure and lovely in the sight of God. Verse 17 of James 3 explains for us the wisdom from above, and uses some of these same qualities. Pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial (2:1-13) and sincere. These produce a harvest of righteousness, if it is sown in peace.