December 02, 2004

My take on James 4:13-17

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town,
spend a year there doing business, and make a profit" -
you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that
appears briefly and then disappears.
Instead you should say, "If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that."
But now you are boasting in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin.

Well, I don't know at all what I'm doing, but here goes ...

The first thing that comes to mind is that expression - "Men plan, God laughes" :-). Probably it's a good thing to keep in mind our ephemerality and our truly utter lack of control over live's situations.

Another questtion is about ... "if the Lord wills it". Is everything that happens God's will? What is "providence"? Where's free will in this?

Finally, the idea that one who knows the right thing to do and doesn't do it is sinful is interesting. Socrates said that if a person knows the right thing, he WILL do it. But in real life, I often don't do what I think is the right thing ... sometimes, I don't even floss! Maybe I am sinful, if sinful means flawed.


At 6:33 p.m., Blogger david said...

Theologians with PhDs don't know what they're doing either -- they just have the book smarts to cover their tracks. I should know -- I'm 2/3s there (Masters).

Now. Some interesting threads you picked up there. You've raised the providence/free-will thing before. So it must weigh on your mind a bit.

And I guess I'm flawed too -- I don't floss either :0)

At 7:59 a.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

First of all, I don't know what I'm doing, either. Crystal, you and I can chalk up our flaws to being non-Quakers! Just kidding, but its an easy out.

The free will/providence thing is an intense question and I've discussed it on my blog, unclimber -- Why Does Suffering Happen? I have no conclusion on the matter but I was snotty to Meredith in the comments, she overwhelmed me with love, patience and understanding. I'm still in awe and actually now am wondering why I don't just shut up.

Finally, that last sentence to me seems to be the predecessor of Churchill (or someone famous) who said that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

At 2:40 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Hi Marjorie - thanks for the comments - yes, we non- Quakers must stick together :-). I saw that you mentioned you've found some spiritual directors online .... I've been looking for one myself - any leads?


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