22 harvestWisdom from above is impartial or steady and consistent according to James 3:18. Kent Hughes recounts a conversation he once heard between Groucho Marx and William Buckley. Groucho excused a contradiction by quoting Thoreau, “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Hughes says, “At which Buckley rolled his eyes and faced the camera with a winning grin as he corrected Groucho with the exact quotation: ‘A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.’” Heavenly wisdom is that which is consistent through all the trials of life. The next word that James uses to describe heavenly wisdom is “sincerity.” Many commentators agree that if you combined the idea of these two words together, you will get the idea of undying loyalty. This is consistent with the first chapter of James where he argues that those of “divided interests” or the “double minded” will reap no rewards.

The Promised Land was offered to the former slaves from Egypt. All they had to do was follow God through the direction of Moses. Yet the first generation from Egypt never quite understood what God was asking of them and ended up pining for the “kept” comforts and foods of Egypt. When things got difficult for them they would throw in the towel and give up the good fight. That’s why God tells them in Numbers 32:11, “Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me…”

There are times when my emotions flutter all over the place. One day I’m on the top of the world and the next day I’m down in the dumps. It stinks when you’re in the dumps and everyone around you smells it! My truth is that the biggest enemy is not out there somewhere, it is right here, it’s me! We often understand the word “temperance” to do with alcohol and other lifestyles, but the Greek word (kratain) literally means to grab hold of or to grasp.” When someone loses it we often hear someone say, “get hold of yourself!” We get this idiom from this word. David Jeremiah says that, “The word is used only seven times in the New Testament. In almost every situation, it is used to describe the importance of gaining control and reigning over our passions and desires.” Inconsistency and half-heartedness reaps no reward, but, as James concludes this section in James 3:18, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”