Thought for the Day: Now James does not toss out grace and mercy, but he demands consistency when it comes to living the faith. Perfection is a word that appears in the Book of James, but maybe a helpful way for us to think of it is complete or fullness. We are never going to be without sin or error, but James does not want the life of faith to be some smorgasbord where we pick and choose. If someone does really well in certain areas, that’s wonderful, but this is not the Cap & Trade of Forgiveness. You don’t excel in one area so as to buy your way out of another. It is not about picking your top three Fruit of the Spirit, hoping your exceptional work with joy, generosity and faithfulness will have folk ignoring your complete failure in the areas of peace, patience and kindness. The Prophets of old called out such behavior. For James it was about striving for consistency, and in those times when we fall short with sin and failure, the expectation is for confession and repentance to follow. And I believe James was expecting his readers to wake up the next day and say, “By God’s grace, today will be a better day, for I want to be a more complete Jesus follower.”
Prayer: While I live each day in your grace, O God, I will not allow that gift to be the rationale for ignoring what needs to change. In fact, it will be your grace that provides the strength needed to make the change. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge