For Your Heart - James, Chapter 1
We once again invite you to this new blog post provided by Andrea Murphy, church planting pastor's wife, homeschooling momma of four children, ages 12, 8, 3, & 2. She says, "Life is busy... but busy means work... and anything "worth it" is worth working for!"
Andrea and her husband, Jeremy, pastor Access Church. They are the founding pastors, having launched Access Church in September of 2009. Andrea loves to read, write, bake yummy things, plan events for the people she loves, and create fun things from not much.
For Your Heart - James, Chapter 1
Arguably, one of the most confrontational books of the Bible is James. With each stroke of the pen, he challenges, convicts, confronts, and chastises with little concern for the feelings of his audience and with little regard for what they'll think about him when he's through.
While he's forward and unapologetic with his directives and encouragement to live a holy life, he goes about his scripting in a way that is wise and knowing, mature and understanding; with the passion of a coach and the love of a parent, yet without being overly-cautious.
This is one of my favorite books of the Bible for several purposes:
1) It's a chapter that I can dig into when I need reminding on what my mindset should be and how my attitude should be positioned in my personal circumstances.
2) It's a chapter that challenges us as a culture. James was writing to churches that were scattered through their regions (and beyond,) due to minor irritations such as people in their company being fed to lions, individuals being run through with spears and burned at the stake, and others being forced to fight each other to the death - all because of the faith that they professed, lived out, and ultimately were forced to choose to die for.
Minor irritations much like ours... right?
Heavy traffic on the freeway, waiting in line MUCH too long at the drive-through, dealing with an emotionally out-of-control toddler, spousal miscommunications, not finding the match to our favorite pair of shoes that are being summoned for accessorization.
The satire should be obvious - but somehow with the last group of the situations listed above, this is where I lose my focus, my cool, and my peace.
It's in those times of irritation that all of my best-laid heart-plans begin to end.
I give away my joy.
I release my right to confidence.
I trade reliance on my Savior for heavy-handed grappling at the steering wheel of life. Yanking it this way and that way in a desperate attempt to settle things MY way.
To make things head in the direction that I think they should go.
To prove something to someone (maybe myself?) or to convince that I KNOW what I'm talking about.
It's the little things that lead to the big things.
Somehow, the little compromises that I categorize as:
real - human - normal - female
These are the compromises that let my guard down and cause me to justify myself - right into the traps of selfishness, bitterness, and frustration.
And suddenly I find myself looking up into the view from the bottom of the bus - that I, alone, was driving.
In just the First Chapter of James, it all comes back to me. But there James is. Ever ready to remind and purposefully prod with convicting challenges that pierce to the core of my womanly soul.
I hear the message: "Come on. Look up. Keep climbing. And be who you know are are - the lady that God made you to be."
TO MEMORIZE: James 1:22-25 (Italics Mine)
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man (or woman) who looks at his (or her) face in a mirror and, after looking at himself (or herself), goes away and immediately forgets what he (or she) looks like. But the man (or woman) who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he (or she) has heard, but doing it—he (or she) will be blessed in what he (or she) does.
Copyright 2018 - Andrea Murphy