10 March 2017

NRSV James 1:12-18 – Personal Responsibility

NRSV James 1:12 Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 No one, when tempted, should say, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. 14 But one is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved. 17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

This is what – to me – the entire passage tells us: Our own temptation and the responsibility for resisting wrong and doing good lies entirely with our own choices. We are admonished not to let ourselves be led to wrong by anyone, but especially not by our own selves. And we are reminded that God loves us and that the fulfillment of His purpose is to be in right relationship with Him. To me, the entirety of The Book of James is about responsibility for ourselves and living out our Faith in the full self-determination to live out a Christ-centered Faith.

"May the meditations of our hearts
be acceptable in Thy sight,
Oh Lord, our strength and our redeemer.”
~In Jesus’ Holy name
We pray all believing,