How do we live a life pleasing to God?
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. -James 3:18, NAB
The hope and desire of every Christian, first and foremost, is to be deemed righteous by God – for God to be pleased with the life we have lived. Today’s verse tells us that this comes when we cultivate peace.
What does it mean to cultivate?
When a farmer plants his crops, he does not simply throw seed all over, hoping that it will grow. He sows the seed in the perfect spot – a spot he prepared beforehand. And his job is not done there. Once he has planted the seed in the soil he prepared, he must water it, feed it, and watch it grow.
Likewise, we cannot randomly throw the seeds of peace around in our lives hoping that they will take root. We must begin by preparing our lives, our soil, for peace. Then, we must cultivate peace by continuing to care for it until it reaches maturity.
Peace, like any crop, takes a lot of work. Sometimes, peace will grow naturally in our lives, but other times, we need to take extra care with it. And when it does begin to grow, we need to consistently work at it. If we ignore peace, it may not survive the times of drought we will face.
When we cultivate peace in the world around us, God will be pleased. The fields of the world may be barren, but if we care enough, the seeds of peace will flourish.