Read James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a.
In this passage, we are asked to consider the motivations behind decisions we make or actions we take. Are our ambitions driven by envy of others? Are our words boastful and careless about truth? Are our decisions concerned only with what is good for ourselves? If the answer to these is yes, then, according to James, they are not of God. Alternately, are our ambitions, words, or decisions pure, peaceable, gentle, flexible, merciful, fruitful, and without partiality or hypocrisy? If so, then we are much closer to the mark of righteousness. We live in a world of instant- and self-gratification. It takes work and commitment to slow down long enough to consider the source and the motivation of what we say and do. It takes humility to admit when our words or actions are coming from a place that is contrary to God’s nature, character, or will. In prayer, ask the Spirit to shed light on the source and the motivation of your words and actions today.