v13, If we cultivate “meekness”, then the Holy Spirit will bear that fruit to maturity, and wisdom is enjoyed. Galatians 5:23. Another word for meekness is gentleness, the Greek word is “Praytes” means “power under control”, and is best demonstrated by placing a bit in a horse’s mouth to bring it’s power under control. Which may be one reason why it is set closely beside “self-control” in Galatians 5:23. How do you cultivate your heart so that meekness can grow? One fact is certain, you will not be preparing yourself to be weak, but you will grow strong in the grace and knowledge of Christ. This is a principle that has always been true for God’s children and expressed very clearly in Psalm 37:11, as well as Jesus in Matthew 5:5. Exercising power under control results in owning physical virtues that even worldly people admire, regardless of how atheistic they claim to be.
v14-15, To harbor bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, is the opposite of trying to cultivate gentleness or meekness. It is an attitude that harvests worldly fame and godly wrath at the same time, because no one can be a friend to the world and God simultaneously, see James 4:4. The progression of earthly wisdom only goes downhill. People who neglect spiritual realities and needs, become devoid of what their soul needs, which is godly wisdom, not earthly wisdom. See 1st Corinthians 2:13-15. If people like this do not repent, they eventually become children of the devil, who is a type of father or legal guardian, turning them into slaves of sin. See John 8:44 & Romans 6:16-22
v16, “confusion & evil works” The result of entertaining envy and arguments. Confusion in the greek language means living reckless lives that are apathetic towards authority and entertaining anarchy. Evil works in the greek language means intentionally acting out sinful deeds, as in criminal activity. Jesus was counted as a criminal on a cross by the Roman authorities because he let the Jewish leaders intentionally charge him with insurrection against Caesar. Paul teaches that those kinds of people are not entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, see Galatians 5:19-21 & 2nd Thessalonians 2:12. Their first step towards entrance is accepting Godly wisdom in Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for them as their sacrifice for the sins we have committed along with them.
v17-18, Heavenly wisdom from God is available to everyone on earth. Our Creator designed us with an appetite for it, however, our spiritual appetite is weakened and even perverted by the sin we commit. James describes the fruit of the Spirit as Paul did in Galatians 5:22-23 but with different words. Instead of saying exactly what the fruit of the Spirit is, like Paul does, James is explaining the fruit’s condition. This is what makes the fruit of the Spirit so different and better than the way an atheist would share love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control. You and anyone that wants PEACE with our Creator and heavenly Father, can plant the seeds of the Kingdom in our heart by prayerfully reading his word, (Mat.13:19) and along with obeying those words, we are given His Spirit to germinate those seeds and grow His fruit. This is good news!