Thursday, January 18, 2007

it's a jimmy thing #3

13 comments:

jON said...

i'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this. because i learn from many, many different people. and i'm glad for all the wisdom and learning they impart. if only a little bit. but, perhaps, that's not what he has in mind? perhaps he is saying that not many of you should rise to the front as leaders who teach the scriptures saying, "follow me! i know the way!" which, in my mind, makes more sense. because it makes the next statements about the tongue not a new topic, but an extension. showing how one person's tongue can direct and influence so much and cause so much damage. which i think we have all witnessed firsthand. but i have a hard time thinking that he is trying to say that we should not share with one another what we learn in the scriptures. but, of course, i could be wrong.

Jas 3:17-18 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

may we remember this as we continue to grow together and share with one another the things we learn as we grow. to have these attributes added to us as we live and share. may we all be filled to the full with this.

Nate said...

What a wacky chapter. James was an abstract thinker. I have a Life application Bible which gives themes of the sections. The first section was labled the untameable tongue. The concept strikes me as what we speak should always reflect who we are. Can we say we love all our neighbors as we love ourselves, while we are cussing them for their dog doing their businees on our lawn? Also this goes back to James 1:26 "If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless." My take is the ones who blow their own horn, deceive themselves into believing that they are doing God's bidding better than eveyone else, is absolutely wrong. Again, our beliefs should guide our speech as well as actions. Genuine Wisdom is the lable of the next section. If the conclusions we are making do not have the things described in 3:17-18, is it true wisdom? A guide to wisdom is something that I have never really seen before. Here is the meter to measure your conclusions against to see if they are wise. Really a revolutionary idea.

Wendy ftfs said...

2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

This is how powerful our tongues are .... anyone know any of these perfect people ...is it that easy to be perfect? or is it that hard .... :-)

7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

I find this a very bold statement
... 'every evil practice' ...
Another bold statement that is comparable is the 'love' of money is the root of all evil ...

Could this be a fair description of our own North American society?

Susan said...

Several words stand out to me in this passage and they are similar to what others have already written. V.1 "presume" which says to me that we need confirmation that we are called to teach. I think this is different to just sharing our faith which we are elsewhere encouraged to do. V.2 "all stumble" which suggests we are not as knowledgeable as we would like to think. Therefore we should be listening to each other and open to the fact that we might be wrong. V. 14 & 16 "selfish ambition" which speaks to me about motives. It is so easy to do things, even good things, out of selfish ambition to make ourselves look good, or look knowledgeable, or look spiritual. The way to counter this is by humility (v.13) and peace-loving (v.17-18). Other versions also use the word gentleness.

I like the way the Message puts v.18. "You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor." Which says to me that it is easy to get along with others if we are not in a situation where we have to do things with them, but when we are, it is "hard work". Perhaps this is why churches are hard work?

jON said...

"This is how powerful our tongues are .... anyone know any of these perfect people ...is it that easy to be perfect? or is it that hard .... "

i would think that if you bring everything back to "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you", it would be easy. but that is the way with most thing, no? if we stop and ask ourselves if we would want someone in our faces being who we are to us right now, the answer becomes clear quickly. if we're honest with ourselves that is. because i've heard some people say how they would like to have people exhibit verbally and emotionally abusive behavior towards them, "I'd expect the same rebuking from my brothers and sisters if they saw me going down the wrong road." which causes me to ask, "really?" would you really like to have someone tear you apart if they happen to think your life is not pleasing to god? without understanding or context? just a quick appraisel based on doctrines and then judgement? i don't know. perhaps they mean it. but i have a hard time, personally, understanding it. because i know i am absolutely NOT that way. so, i do my best to weigh my words against what i would like to have coming from someone else towards me.

Susan said...

I agree Jon, I'm sure those who say they would expect the same rebuking have never experienced it. The problem is however, they believe they are treating others the way they want others to treat towards them.

In Christian community we expect people to treat us like we would treat them and when that doesn't happen (as in your case, and I could also cite many of my own examples), getting along with each other becomes "hard work".

Wendy ftfs said...

Yes, Hard work ... forgiving one another and loving one another deeply can be hard work ... blessing and cursing cannot live together in the same place ...

We must treat paople with the same grace that the Lord treats us ...

His mercies are new every morning ... and we must grant those same fresh, daily mercies in the same way ...

When we are able to do this the baggage falls away and we begin to fly free in God's love ... everlasting love ...

Nate said...

Before I looked at the comments today on the blog here, I wrote a section called "the hardest thing ever." Talking about how hard it is to be a servant of God and really follow him. Then I saw all of this hard work talk. Wacky. Anyway, take care with the liberty of the spirit, and controlling your speech. Those two tied together for me after doing some digesting of this chapter. Then I ask, is honesty a bad policy? Somtimes, was the return answer. Just because I can tell the unvarnished truth, does it mean that I should? What will the effect be on those around me, is the yardstick I came up with. Many cases, people do not read or study the bible, or think about spritual things nearly as much as the people on this blog do. Me spouting off how wrong their understanding of the scriptures is, could really damage a new believer, of an under knowledged one. So I took the be careful with your liberty to be the guide of my tongue. First do no harm, then treat with love.

jON said...

hey there kids. i haven't forgotten about you. i've just been busy rebuilding my life and new job. all is well and i am having more thoughts that i would like to discuss. hope all is well with you cats. be blessed.

Dena G said...

I realize I'm a little late to this table, but I just wanted to comment on something you said, Jon.

I've recently gone through an experience of having someone absolutely tear me apart because, in her eyes, my life wasn't pleasing to God. Of course, it was prefaced with "I'm only saying this because I love you", which, as we all know, makes it perfectly acceptable to then unleash the tongue and verbally shred the sinner, right?

The whole experience kind of reinforced to me that I need to be careful with MY tongue, and, as Nate said, weigh the liberty I have against the wisdom of the words, before I speak them.

jON said...

i'm really sorry to hear that, dena. i know what a crushing experience that can be. i can tell you're a lot like me and are always trying to be honest with yourself about who you are in light of the spirit and trying to better yourself and be changed to be like god all the time. and that's precisely why something like that sucks so bad for us. especially when someone whom we know and trust says such things.

because then we go cutting ourselves up looking for the cancer that a trusted person has said is in our life. and when it's an accurate assessment, you thank them for it and the pain is worth the payoff. we all have had these experiences.

it's when there's nothing to actually cut out. when it's just a lie fucking with you... that's when it becomes intolerable. because i found myself debating in my head in an unhealthy way trying to find the source of this supposed thing that was "unholy." but was in truth a part of who god has called me to be.

and that's something we can't cut out. not for any human.

maybe it's not the same for you, but when an inner war breaks out between a trusted human voice and the spirit of god within me it can be completely overwhelming. to stick with the spirit when you know it is going to cause you to disagree with everyone around you... even your closest and dearest friends... that is the hardest thing of all.

but if we're ever to TRULY grow... these choices must be made.

jON said...

"First do no harm, then treat with love."


how very wiccan of you, nate. hah!

Nate said...

If I had ever done any wiccan study, I would say thank you. But since they seem to like my stuff so much, maybe I will look them up.