December 02, 2004

4th of James 13-17

James is reminding the reader of the old lessons already learned in Proverbs.

Go to now, ye that say,
Today or tomorrow we will go
into such a city, and continue
there a year, and buy and sell,
and get gain.

Whereas ye know not
what shall be on the morrow.
For what is your life? It is even
a vapour, that appeareth for a
little time, and then vanisheth

For that ye ought to say,
If the Lord will, we shall live,
and do this, or that.

This is one complete thought. The "ye" of "ye that say" merely forgot to consider the idea of "God Willing."

James is admonishing them for forgetting the right order and reminding them of the Proverb 27:1 "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."

"God willing, we shall succeed" is simply gospel order. They forgot that.

But now ye rejoice in
your boastings: all such rejoicing
is evil.

Therefore to him that
knoweth to do good, and
doeth it not, to him it is sin.

(This is why when football players dance in the end-zone they are being foolish).

Continue the comparison of this to the following as Proverbs 27:2 continues: "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips."

Again, after the manner in which I've been reading James, the writer is reminding people to be humble about their business, remember that successes and comforts and gain are mercies to you. Be thankful of them and recognize your life could be a thousand times worse; Therefore worship God and quit taking your life for granted.

In other, harsher words - especially if you have been a success - you need to get your butt into meeting on Sunday and shut up.

I have always felt that we men, especially, need the discipline of meeting. The way society is, we are for some reason given all this status and power by virtue of our gender. It's totally stupid but there it is. And if you look at some of us, especially the successful fellows, we emit self-sufficient power.

But we are not self-sufficient. We are full of hubris and self-worship. I think this is everyone, but from my experience in business - especially we men. We need to humble ourselves. And a few of us need to be humiliated, too.


At 8:14 a.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

RW, I enjoyed your post. This is going to seem flippant, but I am serious -- I have a question about the end-zone football dance. Is it foolish because they are boasting in their own accomplishment of the touch-down? I can understand that. But what if its a celebration of God's allowing them to score? And what if we cannot know the underlying reason for their dance? This just reminds me of some commentary on this or kwakersaur's other blog -- I guess they were saying that words can be misinterpreted and that actions were clear...(I may have this wrong), it just raises in my mind how even actions can be misinterpreted and it seems like all we can ever do is to hope that we are doing what is right and that if we are, perhaps only God will ever know for certain. Other people can easily misinterpret our actions or choose to view them in negative terms.

Your comments about men are interesting too. I certainly know plenty of arrogant people (my name is Marjorie, pleased to meet you), but sometimes when I've gotten to know them, I realize they aren't as arrogant as they are insecure. Or they are putting on a mask in the marketplace because that is how they survive. I'd agree that perhaps they shouldn't be doing that but I probably don't have a strong stance from which to speak since I opted out of the work world in order to be with my children.

At 3:30 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Hi - interesting comments. The end-zone dance - hehehe. It does seem like financial sucess and arrogance often go together. One of the things I appreciate about people who become priests, brothers and sisters is that they willingly give up the opportunity to be financially sucessful in society when they take vows of poverty { though, of course, the catholic church is wealty beyond belief :-) }


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