The book of James may well be a single of the easiest books for Christians to realize, regardless of time and culture. It bargains with the sort of problems and behaviors that are popular to religious people today of just about every era, and there is truly no misunderstanding what James is telling his audience to do and not to do. I constantly finish up feeling extremely convicted by this quick small book.
James merely addresses this book to, “the twelve tribes in the Dispersion.” This could imply he is writing to Jewish Christians, or he could be referring to all Christians as element of the new Israel. The book does not look to be a letter intended for a certain church. In truth, it does not truly look to be a letter at all, for the reason that there is no formal greeting in the starting or the finish.
James appears to be writing to the type of Christians who consider extremely hugely of themselves the type of people today who take into consideration themselves to be sensible, religious, and capable teachers. They are important and judgmental. They want to reside comfy lives. They envy wealth and scorn poverty. They think themselves to have a lot of faith and a lot of wisdom, but what they truly have is a lot of words.
Be Quiet and Listen
It is fascinating to me how normally James’ words, “Be rapid to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” are taken out of context. Men and women generally quote these words as a approach for interpersonal relationships. They say issues like, “God gave us two ears and a single mouth, so we need to constantly do twice as considerably listening as we do speaking.” Absolutely, it is fantastic tips to listen a lot more than you speak, but James has a certain type of listening in thoughts.
In the similar context, James writes, “put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and get with meekness the implanted word, which is in a position to save your souls.” Also normally, when an individual is attempting to share a word which is in a position to save our souls, we get angry and defensive. James tells his audience to “receive with meekness the implanted word.” It is practically constantly a fantastic notion to be quiet and listen, but in particular when an individual is attempting to right our “filthiness” and “wickedness.”
How normally do we get defensive when an individual shares the word of truth with us? How normally do we get angry at these who are attempting to enable us? How normally do we say, “I disagree,” when we ought to say, “You may well be suitable, let me consider about that”?
Faith, Religion, and Wisdom Can Be Observed
James touches on numerous problems all through this quick book, but they all look to revolve about the notion that it is not sufficient to say we are religious people today, people today of faith, or people today with wisdom. We will have to prove our faith, religion, and wisdom by what we do. Words do not prove what is in our hearts, action proves what is in our hearts.
James tells his audience to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” He tells them that genuine religion is about assisting widows and orphans. He tells them faith with out functions is as useless as wishing an individual properly who has no clothing or meals.
To these who consider they are sensible, James says that their “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” prove their wisdom is “earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” Actual wisdom is not about the capability to conjure up the suitable words to place opponents in their spot. Actual wisdom is confirmed by fantastic conduct and meekness. Actual wisdom, wisdom from God, is:
- open to purpose
- complete of mercy
- complete of fantastic fruits
In all of these locations, James invites his readers to prove they are sensible, religious, and faithful by living lives of humble and loving service to other people.
Poverty and Suffering
Like his brother Jesus, James warns about the dangers of comfort and wealth. He encourages his audience to be content material with poverty and trials. The book starts by encouraging people today to, “Count it all joy,” when they, “meet trials of numerous sorts.” He promises that patiently enduring trials will outcome in getting, “perfect and comprehensive, lacking in nothing at all.”
He warns them not to give preference to wealthy people today, above poor people today, who take a look at their assemblies. He implies that riches do not make an individual admirable, reminding that the wealthy are the ones who “oppress you,” the ones who “drag you into court,” and the ones who “blaspheme the honorable name by which you had been known as.”
James incorporates a single of the strongest warnings and condemnations of these who reside their lives in self-indulgence, taking benefit of other people:
Come now, you wealthy, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be proof against you and will consume your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the final days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous individual. He does not resist you
James closes the book by encouraging his readers to consider of themselves as farmers. As farmers wait patiently for the harvest, Christians wait patiently, “for the coming of the Lord.” We reside our lives not primarily based on what we can see, but in confident expectation about what is to come.
I really like you and God loves you,