But wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17
Peaceable – OK, let’s think about this. “Peaceable?” We live in a world of greater and greater threat and conflict. In case you weren’t paying attention, tensions around the globe are escalating as the world’s political and economic realms shrink. It seems as though the same thing is happening on the individual and relationship front. More and more stress. Less and less peace. Wasn’t it the Beatles who said, “You know I’d give you everything I’ve got for a little peace of mind?”
James is Hebrew. His name is really Ya’aqov. When he writes about peace, he isn’t thinking eirene, the Greek word for the “absence of war.” He is thinking shalom, a state of complete well-being, principally because of a right-relationship with YHWH. Ya’aqov’s readers would probably think the same thing since they are part of the Jewish Messianic fellowship. Shalom is what we want and what we need. It’s not just the absence of conflict, a Greek idea that assumes the natural state of man is war. It’s the hope of universal Sabbath, the rest that the world longs to embrace as the fulfillment of the creative order.
Now that we know the goal, on this last day of the solar year, we might reflect once more on the Beatles’ song, “I’m so tired.”
“I’m so tired my mind is on the blink.”
“I’m so tired I don’t know what to do.”
“I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do.”
And so it goes. “Give you everything I’ve got for a little peace of mind.”
Will you rest in the coming year? Will you stop pushing to exhaustion in order to meet the incessant demands of a world that only knows extraction? Will you turn to the Sabbath because you desperately need it? Or will you sing the slow suicidal melody “I’m so tired.”
The Hebrew consciousness is informed with a certain relaxed sense of purpose. Why? Because it all doesn’t depend on me! God’s hand moves invisibly through the lives of men, and as long as it does, I am finally not fully responsible for the outcomes of my efforts. I can trust in a universe that conspires with me to bring about His good purposes. I can rest in knowing His plans cannot be thwarted. Tired? Yes, of course I’m tired. I work hard. But “so tired?” No, I have the promise of a day of rest in every seven, a day to remember that this world is not mine, it is only mine to enjoy.
Topical Index: tired, peace, eirene, war, stress, Beatles, James 3:17