Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
What is James talking about in these verses? He is talking about personal responsibility.
He is telling us that temptation and sin are of our own doing. We are not puppets and God is pulling the strings. We are all free individuals able to make our own decisions and choices. And with freedom comes responsibility, personal responsibility. Continue reading
If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
A previous post about the book of James (Shut Up and Listen) dealt with the subject of the unbridled tongue and its consequences. I cited James 1:19-20 where James tells the followers to shut up and listen, think before you speak. For a quick retort can lead to anger and anger does not produce righteousness.
James goes on to speak of the problems of a swift and sharp tongue. Continue reading
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Truer words could not be written or spoken.
When I think about any regrets I have in my life it is generally things things I have said. And the things I regret were statements made without giving pause prior to them leaving my tongue. They were things said when my filter was turned off.
What caused my filter to shutdown? Anger. Continue reading
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
I wrote a post about how covetousness is the gateway to all sin. In it I talked about how it is commandment number ten and leads you right up from nine to six. And here, in a letter from James to the Jewish Christians outside of Palestine, my thoughts are confirmed. Continue reading
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
James, who is believed to be the half brother of Christ, wrote these words over 1900 years ago.
I find these words to ring true today, and I thought I would share how true they are for those who profess to serve us each day in the political world. The point I wanted to make with these prophetic words is to those who delude themselves into believing that our “representatives” and “leaders”, no matter which side, are there for some altruistic desire to make this world a better place for you and me.
That belief, that sentiment, is pure bullshit! Continue reading