“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere”(James 3:17).
Our nation longs for justice that is blind and unbiased when individuals go to judge a matter. Depictions of lady justice portray her holding a set of scales while being blind-folded to what rests on the scales. This symbolism advocates for impartiality in matters of decision so that justice can prevail. The Bible advocates for this noble goal (Micah 6:8).
James deepens our understanding of God’s judgment when he says that wisdom from above is “impartial” (ESV). What does He have in mind?James means that wisdom from above is “without variance” (ASV), “without favoritism” (CSB), “without partiality” (KJV, NKJ), and “unwavering” (NAS).God’s wisdom is not intent on offering outright preference to any group or individual that is not offered to all (Acts 17:30). He loves all and wants all to be saved (John 3:16, 1 Tim. 2:4).
The wisdom from above is contrasted with wisdom from below that could show preferential treatment to the rich while shaming the poor (James 2:2-3). Elsewhere in James people were sitting in judgment of the law and speaking evil divisive words about a brother (James 4:11). Some could inappropriately use the law to destroy rather than to bring peace and harmony while building another up.
God being impartial does not mean that God is nonjudgmental in the sense that He never decides or makes necessary distinctions or determinations of a moral nature. In fact, the book of James addresses some raw matters of sin.
In making judgments, let’s pray that our lives be filled with wisdom from above that is impartial, free from hypocrisy, and judges righteous judgment to the building up of our fellowman and bringing peace to a world that is divided on so many fronts. May God be glorified by the meditation of our hearts, the fruit of our lips and the deeds of our bodies!