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. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“Whatever possessed you to do that?!” I’ve heard it before- when I’ve done something surprisingly idiotic, mean-spirited, or rude. Certainly it was not wisdom from above. Once I skipped school on a dare, once I snuck out with a boy my parents disapproved of. More recently, I can recall making a barbed remark to sting someone I love, or turning away from someone in need because I was preoccupied with my own desires. Or perhaps those times I enthusiastically got involved spreading ill will toward distant or vague “others” who don’t agree with me or think like me.
Knowing the consolations that come from being in sync with God’s plan for me (God’s knowing my true self and who I could be), how do I seek today to be more gentle, to cultivate peace?
—Donna K. Becher, M.S. is an associate spiritual director intern at the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality, Charleston, West Virginia. Her training is rooted in the Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Dear God, you have formed me and you know me. Help me today to be the best I can be, the real me, without guile or malice. “One thing I ask, this alone I seek- to dwell in the house of the Lord all my days.”
—Based on Psalm 27Please share the Good Word with your friends!