Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct he should show that his works are done in the gentleness that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. James 3:13-18
James is telling us here that we will be known as being wise and understanding by our actions. He then lists what worldly wisdom looks like. he says that worldly wisdom is best known for being envious and for having selfish-ambition. But he then goes on to tell us that “wisdom from above” looks like this: it is pure, peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without pretense. Both the description of worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom should sound familiar. That is because Paul talks about the exact same thing in his letter to the Galatian church.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, and anything similar. I am warning you about these – as I warned you before – that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness , gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:19-26
Both Paul and James and teaching the exact thing but in different words. They are both telling us that the world will know where we believe in by our actions. But they both taught that it is not your actions that save you, but rather your actions are a result of the change that came about the day you said yes to Jesus.
I say then, walk by the Spirit, and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18