I ponder that the words "wisdom and understanding" are put together in a query. Do they go together? Is this "understanding" as in " comprehending knowledge" or is this as in "compassion" and "sympathy?" My good conduct and works in humility (meekness) are proof of wisdom and understanding. It is God's wisdom and the love for others that springs forth good conduct. Live well, live wisely, live with compassion, live humbly, and live righteously.
There are two kinds of wisdom. Which sources should I seek?
First is earthly wisdom. If my good conduct is motivated by jealousy (trying to outdo someone else) or selfish ambition (getting attention), and if I boast about my wisdom, then this is not wisdom from heaven. This boasting denies my sinful self (jealousy, selfishness) and fails to acknowledge the true source of wisdom. There are three bad sources of wisdom: earthly (from other people); nonspiritual (from within myself); and devil (demons).
Second is heavenly wisdom. True wisdom only comes from God! This wisdom is peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere. These things could all be enveloped into the word "understanding." The character test of true wisdom is in these things. What kind of "fruit" is my wisdom producing?
How do I know which wisdom is which in my daily life? I can pray for discernment. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) Holy Spirit, teach me and guide me. Amen.
As James does throughout his writings, the verses compare with Sermon on the Mount. Verse 18 compares with Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.' I love the word "harvest" as I imagine rich goodness coming from the earth. Peace sows and out with comes a harvest of righteousness. That is the bountiful good stuff as listed in verse 17.
Lord, use my lips to speak of Your glory and peace. Amen.