For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:16-17 (KJV)
James says some piercing things here. He mentions envying and strife Envy is a discontented feeling in the selfish heart, in view of the superiority of another, nearly tantamount to jealousy. (1)
Strife is quarreling or contention among people.
Confusion: a lack of understanding or unsureness, doubt, ignorance. (2)
Wisdom: an attribute of God, wisdom is intimately related to the divine knowledge, manifesting itself in the selection of the proper ends with the proper means for their accomplishment. (3)
Pure: virtuous or godly.
Peaceable: possessing a restored relationship with God. (3)
Gentle: kindly, humble.
As children of God, we should seek God’s wisdom and peace even when we face those who cause strife for us. Some of those who are guilty of hurting us act in ways that distress us because they are under the influence of the enemy, of things that control their minds and their bodies.
In spite of how those hurting us, we need to learn to seek His mercy for them and for us and display the good fruit He has implanted into our hearts. This may sound difficult, however, Jesus stands by our side when our detractors attempt to cause us to lower our defenses.
1. New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, © 1988 page 364
2. google search 8.28.2018
3. Unger’s page 1369