Can a small book with only five chapters change the course of life?
See for yourself and read the book of James tucked in the back of the New Testament. But, then you have to do . . .
For if anyone is a hearer (or reader) of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, for once he has gone away he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. James 1:23, 24
Back in the “Bible day” there were no Bibles. At the time that this was written by the half-brother of Jesus, he and the others weren’t sitting around the table with Mary and Joseph reading Galatians and Ephesians for family devotions. The mysteriously beautiful truth is how James wrote down the God-breathed Word.
He wrote to those who were pressed down under the pressure of society – like us. I know you’re nodding in agreement that it’s a moment-by-moment challenge to live out our faith with a cram-crowded schedule in a darker-by-the-minute world.
One of my special priorities is being part of Precept Bible Study every Thursday morning – it has been a lifeline. But, sermons and knowledge won’t make a woman of faith if we do not apply what we take in.
It’s easy to get into the Bible grind. We read, we journal and pray it through, and then life hits and demands several opportunities to show if it’s real. You may have noticed how simple it can be to forget once we close the pages.
What do you see in the mirror when reality steps into the reflection? I know – I hate that. But, go ahead, ask yourself if you portray genuine faith while sitting in a traffic jam, or when the customer service robo-rep makes you hold till you’re old, and how about the countless times you’re confronted with those who provoke your good (human) nature – wink.
James is not describing a theological tricky mix of faith and works, just reminding us that faith should be visible. We should be able to count it joy no matter our circumstances – we should be able to speak words of encouragement and praise instead of griping and slandering, and yes, we should have the same effective rain-stopping prayer life as Elijah.
If we believe what God can do in and through us, we’ll agree with James in how faith works in everyday life – everyday speech – and everyday action.
But prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22