There are three points in chapter one; trials, perspective of the rich and poor, and being a doer- not hearer. James tells us to profit from our trials and learn from them. We profit from our trials with patience, self- control, adn wisdom- but only if we allow God to be with us. when James talks about the rich and poor he says, “let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation,” (v. 9- 10). I feel that we are being told to be moor like the poor- humble and meek- not obsessed with worldly things. The final thing James talks to us is being a doer- not hearer. All the time we say we are going to do something, but we never do it. WE should not be doing that with the Word. We need to read the Word and do what it says- do, not just hear.
There are two points James makes; beware of personal favoritism and faith without works is dead. Favoritism is all around us- BEST friend, teachers pet, etc. James is telling us not to show favoritism. God doesn’t. Don’t favor the rich man over the poor or the well dressed man over the poorly dressed man. When we show favoritism we are judging. Two people walk into church- one is in a business suit the other looks as if he is homeless. It’s proven that the person in the business suit will more than likely be treated nicer. We just judged- we judged the business suit person to being better than the homeless looking guy. Should we be doing that? Faith without works is dead. Faith is good- I mean we have faith in things every day- God, chairs, vehicles, etc. But, should we do something to express our faith? I think so. WE will never get people to come to Christ unless we have faith and show them the faith we have- showing them the faith would be our works. Witnessing, serving, and helping would be ways I consider our works.
James talks about the tongue (what we say) and Heavenly versus Demonic Wisdom. Have you ever said anything to someone and instantly regretted it? This is what I believe James is addressing. We give thanks to God and then bad mouth someone. WE boast on day and praise the next. We need to work hard to praise God with our tongue and encourage others= not bash them down. “Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh,” (v. 12). Heavenly versus Demonic Wisdom. Demonic Wisdom- envy, think only of yourself, and boast or lie. (v. 14). Heavenly Wisdom- pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy, and without partiality, (v. 17). Which wisdom do we have? WE really need to have heavenly wisdom. Just think how much better the world would be if everyone had heavenly wisdom.
In this chapter James talks about proudness. At one point of our lives, we’ve all been proud- a major accomplishment, a new friend, or you did something good. And I’m sure that you, like me, have sometimes wanted to tell someone about what you did. WE don’t need to. We need to be humble.
In chapter 5 James tells us about how the rich will be judged, being patient, and meeting specific needs. IN chapter one James talked about the rich and poor. WE need to be humble, like the poor. Be patient. Patience isn’t easy. There is always someone it is just really hard to be patient with. But from verse 7- 12 James tells us to be patient and don’t grumble. As Christians we are supposed to try and be more like Christ- I think he was patient. Therefore, we need to strive to be patient. We’ve all needed or wanted something. When we needed something (a prayer, miracle, to get better) who did we go to? We should have gone to God. James uses Elijah as an example- “He prayed earnestly that it would not rain: and it did not rain on the land for three years,” (v. 17). Elijah had faith that when he prayed to God, God would answer his needs. When need to be like that.