James 1:21-25 NKJV
It’s been said that there are two kinds of people in the world…those who do and those who
don’t. I’m not sure I agree with that wholeheartedly. I’ve noticed that some days many people do and on other days the same people do not. There is one exception.
People who are a really strong Type A Personality seem to have their DO button on most of the time. My Mother has always been UBER Type A until the last few years. She ALWAYS cared about how quickly and completely something was done.
Me? Not so much when it came to housework, laundry, or cleaning my car. I really don’t care if a shirt is pressed and folded in a specific manner. Even though I do fold them, I do not care how the pillow cases are folded.
I’m not picky about having a little road dust on my car or on my end tables. I always figured in the big scheme of things, God isn’t going to care about dust.
As I write this, I was wondering what, if anything I am really picky about. Hummm…maybe misspelled words that I miss, or really bad grammar. That would lead me to wonder how I missed it when I proofread it.
However realistically, the thing that bothers me the most is bad theology and cruelty to others.
In James 1:21-25, he wrote, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
In verse 21 when he wrote about “all filthiness and overflow of wickedness” in my mind James was talking about people who know the truth and choose to ignore it just because they don’t want to get involved. They would not walk across the street to keep a wandering small child safe. Not only is that contrary to what God would have us do for the good of humanity, that goes against common decency. In verse 22 James explains we need to do something when we hear the truth.
In the case of the small child wandering around, if we hear the child crying and we know she is lost, we would automatically go to the child to offer protection. We would look for a parent or care-giver. James compares the non-doer in verses 23-24 to someone who knows the truth but ignored it. They have looked in the mirror and they choose to walk away from what they saw. The non-doer would leave the child alone and crying in the street because helping is too much trouble.
That kind of cruel indignation is contrary to who God created us to be. God created us to help and support each other. God never intended humanity to turn their back ‘on the least of them’.
God did not intend for Cain to kill his brother Able. It was contrary to God’s plan.
God did not approve of or plan the actions of the men in Sodom and Gomorrah who intended to gang rape two Angels who came to warn the Godly to leave. The Angels explained to Lot that God was going to destroy those cities because everyone except Lot’s family was so evil they had to be destroyed (see Genesis 19).
God’s intention for humanity is for us to see the law of liberty set about because of the love of God and embrace it.
James tells us this person hears the word of truth and does it.
This person runs to the small wandering child who is in danger.
Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah, knew the visitors were under his responsibility, so he sought to protect the Angels. For that reason, Lot and his family were saved. James tells us the person who hears and does what God would have them do will be blessed by God.
In my mind, caring for those who are in danger or who are hungry matter. Folding the pillowcases correctly doesn’t matter. Because my Mother is Type A she folds the pillowcases in an orderly manner, but even at her age, she would run across the street to help a small child. She would do that because it’s the right thing to do.
If you’re reading this, my guess is you would make the same choice.
You would help the child because you’re human and humane.
You wouldn’t do it for the praise of men, or even God.
You’d do it because it’s right.
And do you know what? God would love you and bless you for it because you stood up for what is right.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Be a Doer
Pray about what God has for you. Are you a hearer and a doer for God?
In God, Deborah