In which it’s the doing darnit

by Craig on February 4, 2011

Goodness, remember way back, ages ago…

when I was studying the Book of James…

and then got sidetracked,

and then sidetracked,

and sidetracked,

and sidetracked again?

I have biblical ADHD.

So I better catch myself up before digging in. Lets see…

James has so far written about: trials, and wisdom, and faith, and doubt, and pride, temptation, and joy, and our unchangeable Father of Lights, and the magic that is his “word of truth”, and quick listening, and slow anger, and getting rid of the bad and putting on the good…

and now…

a classic James verse

James 1:21, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.

Oh James, how I have missed you.

We know James has a really famous verse coming up later – one that he’s warming us up for.

I never before took this verse, this “doer” verse, as a preamble to the “faith without works is dead” one – but it kind of seems obvious to me now.

My behavior counts, it’s not just James that says it.

And in the whole faith/works debate thing?

People are always throwing out “proof texts”.

But stuff doesn’t really mean much without context.


here is the Apostle Paul,

who people like to say opposes James – and his view of how our behavior counts for salvation.

And it’s in context just to be sure:

“Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things. We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true. Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God would lead you to repentance? By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.” (Rom 2:1-9)

That’s some pretty tough stuff from a guy everyone says is all Grace, all the time – and never ever “works”.

Just sayin’

I think that once I’ve heard the word of truth, and don’t do my faith – I’m asking for eternal trouble.

And of course I can’t do my faith perfectly – that’s why there’s Grace.

The striving, the intentional living, the will to do faith – that’s the thing.

But, like James is warming up to his famous “faith without works” verse,

I’ll stop right here for now too.

Lots of context will be needed for that verse – and it’s a long way off.

Tomorrow some more good stuff about this verse.

I heart this verse.

God Bless

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymuss February 4, 2011 at 1:00 am

The picture that is coming into my mind is of a person…not sure what kind…taking off a black robe, and setting down the gavel…with a certain look on the face…with an outreached hand….Thank you, Craig. This is needful.

Do you ever just weep when you think of your own judginess? I do. Tonight, I am. The tears won’t stop. I just wish the judge-y root could be completely destroyed. It hurts so much to be judged by others. It feels so heavy to realize that I judge sometimes, too. I guess when I start judging, it means I have climbed back out of the other’s shoes…and am forgetting their perspective…their experience…


Craig February 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Yup. And the judgy-ness – later on James will let us know just how dangerous that is.


Debbie February 4, 2011 at 2:00 am

A . . .I know what you are saying. Strangely, I am struggling really hard with it today too. I come under it all the time . . .so I should know better than to do it too. Over and over today I have asked for forgiveness, have turned away, have had that judgey voice come back in my head. Then I ask for forgiveness, turn away . . . Can’t wait to go to bed so this can stop!
Craig . . .Please forgive me for using your comment section to talk to Angel! You know, it’s only temporary until she gets a blog of her own. 😉 Thank you for getting back to James. I get so engrossed with your teaching . . .I forgot about him. Sorry James. ! Sometimes I fear that I don’t do enough . . .am not enough of a doer of the word. So I will be tuning in and listening up! God bless you and your gifts of knowledge and understanding.
p.s. are you feeling better yet?


Craig February 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Actually Deb – the blissdom plague is teetering on pneumonia – don’t want that – whatever though – I’ll deal.

And talk to A. all you want. I like listening in. :)


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