James describes two kinds of wisdom ― the kind from heaven and the one from earth (James 3:13-18). The wisdom of this world focuses on self. Selfish ambition and bitter envy naturally dwell in human hearts. People generally look out for their own interests.
On the other hand, “wisdom from above” or “God’s kind of wisdom” (NLT) flows from God’s character. In the passage above, James states that after the foundation of purity, being peace-loving appears as the second most important aspect of heavenly wisdom.
Loving peace requires all the elements of God’s wisdom ― purity, the consideration of others, and humble submission to God and His way. In order to truly live out God’s call to peace, we need God’s mercy, as found in His righteous character, and His unbiased and genuine love.
Peace-lovers desire unity and harmony more than being right. They consider listening to others as more important than airing their own opinions. Peace-lovers value people more than tasks.
Yet, loving peace doesn’t mean peace at any cost. Rather, peace-lovers willingly pay the cost of peace by denying themselves. In the journey toward wisdom, loving peace marks a significant milestone, because loving peace highlights the difference between worldly wisdom (self-promotion) and heavenly wisdom (submission to God).
Holy Spirit, make me a peace-lover. I want to live my life with heavenly wisdom, not the wisdom of this world. Amen.
Going deeper ― Memorize James 3:17 and use it as a prayer for God to produce in you His wisdom from heaven.