Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
James warns of a kind of worldly wisdom. Not from heaven but of earth. Not spiritual but evil!
It is the wisdom of envy and selfish ambition, terms James mentions twice here. It is self-centered, not others-minded. The ability, position and possessions of others spark jealousy, pride and a competitive spirit.
Given free reign, this way of looking at the world leads to conflicts and evil behaviors! In the cut-throat, dog-eat-dog race to the top, anything goes. Fights, aggression, dishonesty, favoritism and self-promotion!
In short it is a selfish life. Lived with little or no regard for the welfare of others! It is me, myself and I!
The irony of this self-preoccupation is the almost total neglect of self in all the ways that ultimately matter. The final result is a lack of personal spiritual growth in the attributes that make one more fully human. The soul shrivels even as the material accomplishments and possessions pile up.
By contrast, the wisdom of Jesus brings the best kind of life, good deeds done for the benefit of others in a spirit of humility.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Being a good student of Jesus produces a peaceful life. Peace within and peace with others!
James says that it is in this atmosphere of peace the fruit of righteousness grows into a bountiful harvest.
A person is living wisely who focuses on becoming more like Jesus. Developing in heart the characteristics of the best person who ever lived. This is the wisdom of being a student of Jesus.