Friday, September 30, 2011

James read-along, Chapters 3 & 4

So I'm a little behind on the read-along.  Who's surprised?  Not I.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:9

The Tongue-Taming section of James.  My-oh-my.  The verses prior to this talk of how a big ship is controlled by a small rudder and forest fires are started by a single spark.  What we say has huge consequences for all of the other parts of our life.  How dare we both praise Jesus AND speak poorly of others?  Jesus, help me.

And I also think that the words that come out of us are very telling of what's inside.  Jesus says in Matthew, For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (12:34). 

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13

There's a significant link here between wisdom and humility.  I love the description of true wisdom, a couple of verses later:
full of mercy and good fruit

Lord, let these things be said of me.  Just thinking of difficult relationships and issues I've had with others, I ask myself, was this list true of me in that situation?

Not exactly.

But praise Jesus.  He gives wisdom generously without finding fault - if we just ask for it.  (James 1:5) 

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?  James 4:11-12

Hmm... doesn't this sound familiar to the first verse I listed?  Yes, indeedy. 

Leave the judgment to God, and don't speak out against others. 

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  James 4:14-15

A reminder of the fact that my life isn't my own - it is in God's hands and he determines the specifics.  Lest I be too boastful, too quick-to-map-everything-out, too prideful.  Nope, it's God's will for me that matters.

1 comment:

Marla Taviano said...

Good for you, catching up! I always love reading your thoughts, friend.