Skip to main content

Is there a mismatch here?

 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish plotting. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats. (James 3:13)

Boast if you must, but do it with a heart totally in love with Christ and your boasts will not be about yourself - they will be about the good things God has done in your life! As we stop for a moment together today to consider the Word of God, can we focus on one portion of this passage together? I would like us to consider the words - "Its the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts." The way you live - your actions. The way you talk doesn't always equal your walk, does it? Some of us talk one ay, but walk another. Why is there this incongruency in the two? Could it be there is a root of pride at work in many today that causes the tremendous distance between how we talk and walk?

Pride isn't always a bad thing - if I take pride in my appearance or health - does that make me prideful? No, it just means I want to shower regularly so I don't have a body odor that drives others away, comb my hair so there aren't rats and snarls in there, wear clean clothing that more or less goes well together, and keep myself in a generally good shape so I don't have unnecessary physical issues. There is a 'good' form of pride that isn't a bad thing at all. There is also a very 'bad' form of pride that gets us into so much trouble if we let it! That 'bad' form of pride is what actually causes us to live a life that doesn't afford a 'match' between talking and walking.

The bad form of pride? We might see it best exemplified in what our passage references as animal cunning - that willingness to plot and plan in order to get ahead, be noticed, be 'on top' in this world. Our passage also reveals the exact opposite of this manner of living - live wisely, live well, and live humbly. Living wisely by embracing the teachings of Christ - allowing them to change the motivations of our heart. Live well by actually doing what we are told to do - not just hearing and then walking away unchanged. Live humbly - to live wisely and well we absolutely cannot forget the importance of humility. 

Humility allows us to see the error of our actions - the place where our words and actions are 'mismatched'. Humility causes us to reach out to God to help us overcome this distance between the two. Humility affords us the opportunity to grow, while pride just causes us to bring more and more death into our lives. Some see humility as a hard thing to achieve, but do you know what is at the root of humility? The willingness to submit to the leadership of another - Christ. To truly live humbly, we submit to the teachings of Christ, allowing them to change the way we live AND talk - so both are aligned. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean