James’ ‘Lover of God’ Checklist

Every time I read the Letter of James I thoroughly enjoy it. I think it’s because he is in-your-face, to the point, you-will-be-challenged. And also because he says “you ignoramus” (James 2:20) and pretty much calls everyone “Adulterers!” (James 4: 4). (Just read it and it will give you a hearty kick in the pants.)
In James 4:7-10 we get a guide for what to do / how to live. In reading it the thought of it being a checklist crossed my mind and made me laugh. But to do as James says is challenging – but the most rewarding thing you could ever do.

James’ Checklist for Loving God more than the world:

-submit yourself to God

-resist the Devil

-cleanse your hands

-purify your heart

-lament

-mourn

-weep

-turn laughter into mourning

-turn joy into dejection

-humble yourself before the Lord

-do not speak evil of one another

 

Easy peasy, right? Fitting that this is the reading the day before Lent starts. Let me now go look in the mirror and see how I am a lover of the world. Then think of tomorrow and the opportunity these next 40 days hold for me to right my relationship!

James, chapter 4

Causes of Division.*1Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions* that make war within your members?a2You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask.3You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.4Adulterers!* Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.b5Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, “The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy”?*6But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says:c

“God resists the proud,

but gives grace to the humble.”*

7So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.d8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.e9Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection.10Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.f

11Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law.* If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge

 

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