Who in your community is understanding and wise? Let her example, which is marked by wisdom and gentleness, blaze a trail for others...The wisdom of this world should never be mistaken for heavenly wisdom, for it originates in earthly realms and is earthly, unspiritual and even demonic...Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits untainted by hypocrisy. It results in a harvest of righteousness which is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18 (selections)
I need to look for the wise in my community and not be fooled by the world's definition of wisdom, which is easy to note by its jealousy and selfishisness and the resulting chaos and evil.
A pursuit of righteousness follows the path of wisdom. The Greek for "righteousness" includes the thought that a person would "be as one ought to be." To finally be right. Yes, ultimately, to be right with God and to be the wise, sincere, peace-seeking person God intended.
I have had so many other pursuits! To be "as I should" seems to be a quest of identity or, at least, of character: a sincere reflection of God-character in me, as he made me to be. Because of the other-focus of this section of James, it seems to involve a sincere effort to pursue peace and plant peace so that others can be as they should, too.
The steps to that rightness is through purity, peace, gentleness, deference to others (remember not selfish ambition) and mercy. I feel God drawing me into those definitions; his measures for these qualities come from him. As he draws me to those qualities, other worldly measures for wisdom no longer apply. I can be free. To be me. (Wasn't there a book title?)