We want to sow in our minds and in our relationships what we want to harvest in our lives. The seed we reach to scatter must be taken from the bag marked “wisdom from above,” not “wisdom that is demonic.” Both stand open before us.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17, ESV)
Contrasted with demonic wisdom is wisdom from above (Jas. 3:15). James gives us a bio of genuine wisdom that has its source in God.
He begins by describing genuine wisdom as pure, even giving purity a position of first importance. We might think of purity in terms of chastity where we are fully and exclusively devoted to God. Everything about us is sacred, set apart as holy to our God. That’s how wisdom operates from the perspective of the fear of the Lord. Purity contrasts with what is defiled.
From the starting point of purity the operating system of wisdom works itself out in all the fruit of saving faith forged by the Spirit of God and founded in the person of Christ. Gentleness serves well as a trait of the tongue. Listen to how Paul uses gentle as a governor to our speech: “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:2).