Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thoughts on James

I got up early and sat down in the corner chair. Dawn was breaking, and proof of it had already started to leak through the hotel curtains.

I sat there - with my ESV draped across my lap - knowing I needed some divine direction that day.

He must have known it too. Because when I landed on James 3 and my eyes scanned verses 13-18 - it was as if the text was in bold italics with a 'Dear Kate' prefacing the passage...

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. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

I couldn't get past the first verse.

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the     
                                                               meekness of wisdom.....

My husband tossed around in the bed and rolled over to face me...... and as I caught a glimpse of his open eyes, I read it aloud.... and even from a sleepy stupor, it hit him bold, too.

Because of our fresh situation - we had ready ears...and needy hearts. It was as if we had never visited that passage before....and our hearts received it with a nod of agreement and a complete understanding of it's pertinence.....

There we were - in a new city - scouting out our life, really....a rent house, a faith family, doctors, banks. The day before, we had visited a church and the people there welcomed us warm. They hugged our necks and gave us pointers and introduced us to others and invited us into their homes for dinner. These people - they lived these verses....they lived the 'by his good conduct let him show his works in the  meekness of wisdom' thing. Seeing scripture walked out - it teaches and convinces and loves like nothing else. We've got to get this.

And the rest of that passage - all the mentions of jealousy and selfish ambition...does that strike anyone else? It slaps me right across the face and back again.

The passage then goes so far as to say that the fruit of an envious, self-seeking heart.... is disorder and every vile practice. And it also goes on to say that these things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.

That's pretty blatant language, friends. There's no beating around the bush here.

This scripture cuts right through. What's more - is that I felt the Spirit directing these words right at me. This does more than step on my brings me right straight to my knees.

And it should. I confess it. I've harbored a selfishly ambitious heart - even in ministry. I've exhibited such petty jealousy - even amongst friends. It's there. And if He is addressing it - I better, too.

Purity, peace, gentleness, an openness to reason, mercy, good fruits, impartiality, sincerity and peace will break forth if I do.