“The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).
A wise life is a righteous life.
Puritan minister Richard Baxter said, “Wisdom is honorable because it is the skill of doing good.” Like Baxter, James also sees a connection between wisdom and doing good. James 3:18 is in the present tense and literally reads, “The fruit of righteousness is being sown in peace by them that make peace.” At first glance it seems strange that James would say the “fruit of righteousness is being sown” because usually seed is sown. But harvested fruit also becomes seed for the next crop. The fruit of righteousness is sown again in peace by those who make peace.
Where true wisdom exists, true righteousness follows. And that becomes seed and generates more righteousness. That’s the law of sowing and reaping. It is a continual cycle: one righteous act harvested from the field of true wisdom becomes the seed to grow another righteous act. Those who make peace receive the benefit from it, and righteousness flourishes in a climate of peace. The bottom line is that peacemakers aren’t preoccupied with themselves.
The life of a farmer illustrates what James is saying. The seeds that a farmer plants in the spring are what he eventually harvests in the fall. Similarly, by sowing righteous deeds each day of your life, you can be assured of what you’ll reap: a life that reflects true wisdom. Make it your aim to live righteously!
Suggestions for Prayer
Worship the Lord for being righteous, and ask Him to help you obey His Word and live a righteous life.
For Further Study
James follows a clear line of thought: if one professes to be a Christian, he must prove it by living like a Christian. According to 1 John 3:7-10, what proves a person is a true believer?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187