i have been reading james 4. there are a lot of lessons i can learn from the chapter. actually, they are not just biblical lessons. they are my wake-up call. God has put my view of myself back in place when i read:
“where do wars and fights come from among you? do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? you lust and do not have. you murder and covet and cannot obtain. you fight and war. yet you do not have because you do not ask. you ask and do not receive because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (1-3)
just the beginning of the chapter made me cringe inside. ouch.
i did do all that. i fought and warred with God so that i could feed my fleshly desires – the enmity of the Lord. i was shooting arrows with blindfolds. i asked for all the wrong things. what was more scary was that i didn’t know that i was not on the same track with God. i thought i was the right one.
i also thought evil of a brother, literally. i might not speak it out loud. but i did nurture the evil thought and let it grow in my heart. i blamed him for his action, indecision and unfair judgment. i doubted his good intentions towards me. but the Lord says,
“do not speak evil of one another, brethren. he who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. there is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. who are you to judge another?” (11-12)
i learned that by not thinking or speaking evil of others is not enough. as the chapter of love in 1 corinthians 13 writes,“love bears all things, believes all things and endures all things”. when i love a brother or a sister, i must drop the doubts and believe in all the good they have. and you all know, it’s the most difficult thing to do in life when you feel like you are a victim…that you have all the rights in the world to hate and throw judgment.
but who am i to judge? ouch.
my heart is shredded to pieces, bruised and torn by the revelation. “God must hate me for sure”, i thought. when i sank deep into the despair, He salved my heart with the salt of promise,
“therefore submit to God. resist the devil and he will flee from you. draw near to God and He will draw near to you. cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded…humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (7-10)
thus began the cleaning process. i was hurt because i did not and could not accept the reality. i kept pushing in hope that things would get back to the normal. what a fool i was! my efforts had only made things worse.
even nature changes everyday and i’m never disappointed by them…let alone noticing them. it is because i never expected nature to remain the same. but i did with people. when they changed, i grieved. i forgot that i changed too. so when i embraced the nature mindset, i was able to accept the change even though i still felt sad for the end result.
life has never been about me and it never will be. it is about the One who created me. when i accepted this truth, i can say,
“…for what is my life? it is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. instead i am going to say, ”if the Lord wills, i shall live and do this or that.'” (14-15)
may my arrogance and boasting be the past. may the life from today be more about Jesus, my Beloved.