The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. Isaiah 32:17
Are you ever around certain people and all they do is stir up drama? And you wonder why it is that there is a trail of divisiveness, arguing, disputes, and intensity wherever that person goes? It takes a lot of energy to have that person in your life, at your family get together, or as a coworker. You might find yourself avoiding him or her, even subconsciously, because you just don’t want to play along.
Isaiah tells us of the opposite–that the effect of righteousness, of God’s righteousness, will be peace, quietness and trust. That is true of a life where God invades, compared to a life that is not surrendered to God. James 3:13-18 gives us that contrast:
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
That’s a mouthful. Hopefully you can see the contrast between the life of righteousness that comes from God, and the life that is characterized by bitterness and selfish ambition, that is full of disorder and every vile practice. You are gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits and sincere. And you will plant seeds of peace and righteousness, and hence, get peace and righteousness in return.
That’s such a contrast to those who aren’t ruled by peace. James 3:15 goes as far as calling those driven by bitter jealousy and selfish ambition demonic. Call it what it is. Titus 3:10-11 tells us, As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
The best thing that person can do is to stop and to figure out what root sin is driving that drama. Chaos and divisiveness is a characteristic of this. If you see someone whose life is filled with disorder, look for unresolved bitterness. There are some people whose slogan could be, “There’s always something.” They think it’s funny, but it could be because of jealousy, selfish ambition or bitterness driving them. If you have the opportunity, help the divisive person see the bitterness that might be driving the drama.
I’ve been thinking about that lately with a co-worker who tends to lean toward being passive aggressive. I’ve thought about telling her the verses from Titus about warning someone once and then twice and then having nothing to do with her, so as to let her know that she can’t keep being divisive. It isn’t okay.
So we can’t call someone a drama queen and just move on. If it isn’t okay to be like that, then we shouldn’t let that person continue to operate like that. Instead of just steering around him or her, taking a stand would be to do what Titus says, to be direct and warn him/her and then to not have anything to do with him/her anymore.
Back to the positive side of being ruled by God’s righteousness—the outcome is peace is a quiet spirit, and a harvest of righteousness. That’s so much better. When you walk into someone’s home that this is the prevailing theme, there is order, calmness, and just plain peace. There doesn’t have to be drama or self-advancement—in fact, it is out of place. You want to be around those people, and that’s who you should want to be.
The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. May it mark your life. May drama, jealousy, divisiveness, selfish ambition be far from you.
*Image from slideshare.net