James: Handling the Hard Stuff of LIfe
As we age, we see less because our eye sight becomes naturally a little weaker. I am a person who has yet to wear my glasses full time. “I only need them to read” is my mantra, but I’m finding out I need them to really see what has been escaping my radar of cleanliness lately. If I really want to clean all the germs from around the sink in the kitchen and the bathrooms, for instance, I wear my glasses. If I’m in a hurry, which is most of the time, I clean without my glasses so the work goes faster and easier. In other words, what I don’t see, I don’t clean as well. What I don’t see, or even try to see, doesn’t bother me, either. Yikes!
James is not letting us get by with hurried looking but not seeing. He is not letting us off the hook of not taking a good look, with glasses on, to see what we really need to clean up about ourselves. He even talks about our ability to hear! “ACT on what you hear!”, says the writer. What?! Yes, the world is filled with good intentioned people, and we are all included, with no action behind those good intentions. It’s time to take a good look in the mirror, friends, with glasses on if you must, with listening that is acutely focused while acting upon this revealed counsel of God.
Glasses are on…time to look in the mirror…the Word of God…
James 1, The Message
22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
26-27 Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
What do we learn?
–It’s personal. What is God asking of you?
Dear Heavenly Father, It’s time, today, to listen, really listen to what you are saying and take action. Speak to my heart, Lord, for I am listening…like the boy Samuel who came running to hear You. I am Your servant and I am listening. Help me to look closely and go to work, with your guidance, to clean my heart, mind and soul. Yes, cleanse me, Lord of all that is offensive to you and renew a right Spirit in me. This is my prayer. Help me, then to see what I need to do. Give me holy boldness to do it.
in Jesus Name, Amen