Posts from April 2020

Posts from April 2020

Majestical scene with mountains in clouds

From above

You can just see Jesus in some people. Folks who’ve been with the Lord for a while—really been with him—have a different spirit about them, it seems to me. We’ve all been around the guy who argues just for the pure fun of it. He’s always mad at someone, always spoiling for a fight, always looking for an excuse to lose his temper. That’s not Jesus. Notice the contrast James makes in this passage. He says that jealousy and selfish…
Angry man working home on a computer

Jealousy?

Emphasizing this part of James “would not be warmly received in the modern church,” writes one commentator (K.A. Richardson). That’s an interesting thing to say. Surely those of us in the church wouldn’t shy away from listening to any part of the Bible, would we? Here’s the verse he’s talking about: “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth” (James 3:14). At first glance, the verse might…
Lonely tree with lake and mountains in background

Learning to Empathize

Are you journaling?  Maybe you’re keeping a log somewhere of your feelings and activities during the quarantine.  I will admit, I haven’t been keeping any regular record of this year’s events.  But I thought I would at least use this space to write about a few things I hope I don’t forget after things go back to “normal.” We open up our church bulletins and read the words (usually at the end of our prayer list) “shut-ins.” I’m ashamed that…

Your good life

The hallowed halls of academia aren’t really known for fostering a spirit of humility. Not always, of course, but often there’s a temptation toward pride that comes along with being a notch above one’s peers in intelligence and education. James would call the smart-but-proud person a fool, or at least he seems to imply that here: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from…