stripped of everything

Blogger Small Group

with 9 comments

It’s arrived again. Another week for the Blogger Small Group. No more waiting, diving straight into James chapter three. (Side Note: If you haven’t read James chapter three(3), but want to participate. Read it now and write about it. Any input is better than no input. Everyone is welcome.) [Mr. Linky is at the bottom]

James 3:1-2 – I think it’s interesting here that he starts out with saying:

“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

The reason I think it’s funny that he starts out with that is due to his next verse:

We 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”

He tells us that not many of us should presume to be teachers because of our mouth’s, however he then tells us that we all stumble in many ways. Not only that, but he goes on to tell us that we all mess up with our mouth, and that if you don’t, then you must be a perfect man. I think he might have been using sarcasm here since he just finished saying “We all stumble in many ways.” There is a flip side to what that meant to me as well. Since there was only one truly perfect man, when I read it I took it as James was basically saying, only Jesus is perfect, the rest of us will mess up. Idk. Just a lot of little thoughts there. Take em or leave em.

James 3:3-6 – Wow, this whole section of the James is powerful. My favorite verse in this section would be:

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.”

How many times has what I said backfired and made me lose all credibility to the person or people I was talking to? The answer is an resounding TOO MANY. I think sometimes as christians we live by the, “not what you say, but what you do” line. However, God clearly tells us throughout scripture that we need to speak truth and love out of our mouths to people. I know for me, I sit here some days thinking in my head, “I am loving people, caring for them, so no matter what I say they already know by my actions that I love them.” I’m the same guy that tells students when teaching about love that if someone says they love you, but then punches you in the face, doesn’t it make those three words pretty hard to believe? Switch that around though, if you are showing someone love, but then curse at them or belittle them, is that love. I would argue that what you say is tied in directly to your actions. Now your actions aren’t always directly tied into what you say however. Sort of like a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square. (sorry, bad reference)

James 3:7-8 – Here I feel like all hope is lost in taming the tounge. What happened to “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen’s me”. Here however he says:

“but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

Hmm? I think James is clearly making a point that we will never be perfect. He’s trying to help us understand of the importance of Christ. The importance of where we focus our desires and attentions. Maybe the part of Phillipians 4:13 where it says, “through Christ” is a key point. Because “man” cannot tame anything on his own. Through Christ however, we are affirmed throughout scripture that we can do anything, again pointing everything back to our full basic need of Jesus in our lives.

James 3:9-12 – I read this and my first thought is, “did he just talk about this in verses 3-6?” Perhaps James just realized that he need to reemphasize his point. Clarify better what he means. I take out of this that James is just emphasizing stronger that no matter what you say positive, anything you say negative will be held higher but nonbelievers and believers alike. That’s true isn’t it. I think of the media here. No matter how many good things a nationally recognized coach does, the media only reports on when he messes up. No matter how much money a person in the national spotlight donates somewhere, it will never make it on the news over that coach and the affair he had on his wife. Is it right? No. However, we’re warned a long time ago that this is how the world is going to hold us, not for our good doings, but for our sins.

James 3:13-16 – Let me start by posting this:

“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts”

I’ve been there so many times, and really not even that long ago. I struggle deeply with envy. I don’t think he mentions selfish ambition and envy together by accident. Is it possible to harbor envy in your heart and not be selfish? I believe envy is a selfishly desired sin. It’s basically saying God, what you’ve given me isn’t enough, “I” want more. I want bigger and better. I suck at this, so I won’t even try to speak words of great wisdom on how to conquer it. (side note: i still can’t believe verizon named one of their cell phones after one of the seven deadly sins…odd.)

James 3:17-18 – Now this is the wisdom I want:

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.”

Is there really much more that needs to be added? Full of mercy. Sincere. Those two stand out to me. Not because I lack a lot in those areas, but because I believe the people close to me have slipped in that area towards me. When I think of the things that hurt me most in friendships, it’s when the person is not sincere in their words or when mercy is an after-thought.

I have great anticipation for how the rest of you were spoken to during the readings of these scripture. Mine were a lot of personal convictions.

Anyhow, now you, go, write in your blog over this weeks scripture and make this a small group. If you’re unsure of what to do, the original instructions link is below.


[p.s. Don’t forget to link back to here so everyone can go back and forth easily and to leave a comment. Be blessed]

[due to to post your link or see links to others blogs and findings from this weeks scripture, you have to click the Mr Linky icon]


Written by vagabondrunn

May 13, 2008 at 7:33 am

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post and there is still time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group […]

  2. Great post, I think the part of the tongue is quite powerful too. Like you said, how many times have we said something or used works that we wish we could take back.

    Scott Fillmer

    May 13, 2008 at 10:02 am

  3. All I can say is Ugh… I am saying this alot lately. I love this part of the bible. I love to be challenged in this way. Thanks again for putting this out there for us to look at and see a different insight.


    May 13, 2008 at 11:07 am

  4. […] This is a Blogger Small Group entry in partnership with Run’n Like a Vagabond. […]

  5. […] to myself what are you saying! It’s kind of ironic that this is my first blog post for the Blogger Small Group. Anyway lets get to […]

    Got Root? » James 3

    May 13, 2008 at 10:25 pm

  6. I have always liked the book of James. I really enjoyed putting a blog post together for this bible study. Now it’s time to go and read all of your thoughts. How fun is that!

    Heath Spurlock

    May 13, 2008 at 10:30 pm

  7. […] I took a look at my life and I’m trying to determine if I’m running in default mode or have I been tweaking and modifying the settings to make it run better. I have found a resource to help me along the way similar to how I use a wiki or a faq for my blog. The Bible is an excellent resource. I would like to challenge you to tweak your life. Modify the settings and don’t get caught running your life in default mode. What kind of settings have you been tweaking lately? Mine have been the mouth. There are all kinds of options for your mouth as I have been finding out in my recent study of James 3 with the Blogger Small group. […]

  8. […] is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post and there is still time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group […]

  9. […] is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post and there is still time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: