But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
James finishes this chapter by contrasting these passages, which speak of the wisdom from above, with the last set of passages which speak of wisdom from below. James first tells us that wisdom from God is pure. The Greek word used is “hagnos” which refers to both spiritual integrity and moral sincerity. And because James uses the word “first” in front of pure it adds the meaning that the purity of God’s wisdom is first an foremost. A purity, which is not only first in order, but also first in importance and priority. This is because it speaks of our salvation and belonging to Christ as the first order of things. James then goes on to speak of the fruits of the spirit, or better put the works which stem from a genuine faith, thereby giving evidence to our salvation. This includes a peaceable attitude which is the opposite of bitter jealousy.
And James speaks of not striving after the things of the world. The next trait goes hand in hand with peaceableness and that is gentleness. Together, these two traits produce a reasonable heart that puts aside strife, lets others go first and is willing to learn from others and from God. And the next trait which makes all the other traits possible is mercy. A heart full of mercy not only forgives, but has a genuine love and concern for others, including the lost who do not know Jesus. Mercy and love looks out for the best interest of others, no matter what the cost, even if it’s not to our advantage. All these traits together give us a heart of peace that displays righteous behavior. In other words, a heart which produces good works pleasing to God and evident to those around us. Thereby showing our faith to others by our works, done out of our love for Christ Jesus our Lord.