Journal Jas 3 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “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…” Jas 3:13-18
Observation: Talk about a corrective action!! The Holy Spirit is faithful to bring a word timely and in season.
Analysis: I needed this.
In the last two weeks (maybe/probably longer), I have noticed I am tending to being short-tempered and running off at the mouth—certainly not keeping peace.
The issue with this is that I was pretty sure that I needed to be blunt and forthright to the people I was talking to. And I thought that this was good fruit to be had by all.
James corrects me, too late. Is bluntness a virtue? Perhaps dependent on my attitude and delivery. My delivery this past month has been suspect—more anger than righteousness. This morning I am still praying because I feel the anger welling up in me. And I don’t know specifically why. It can be overwhelming.
Scripture tells me about anger and its origins: it is wrapped up in a whirlwind of “self”: Self-absorption; selfishness; jealousy; selfish ambition…I think basically it is the adult version of a child stomping their feet because they are not getting their way. This morning, I am being true to reveal myself as brutally as I can.
Why did James write this? Perhaps one reason is that his readers were veering off the Path, thinking of themselves higher than they ought. Perhaps James was meditating in Proverbs and the Holy Spirit was quickening a thought about how Adam fell and the power of the tongue. Maybe James was reminding the readers about the Gospel and reminding that the Gospel dependency is every day, not just once walking down the aisle.
He’s reminding me…again…that I am dependent upon Him in all areas of my life.
I wish I could communicate that I am overcoming this. I will, in the power of the Holy Spirit (not in my power) but work with the Holy Spirit in what tools God has given.
Spurgeon was asked why he preached the Gospel every day. Reportedly Charlie replied: “Because we forget it every day.”
Somehow, I am forgetting the Gospel, not renewing my mind, not leaning in with purpose and clarity. Somehow, I am wallowing in sorrow, being self-centered, and fearing what man thinks of me instead of fearing God.
Prayer: Lord, may my confession today be helpful on many planes; me, the reader, whomever…Dry my internal tears and help, please.
Ricky Two Shoes