A little over a week ago, I celebrated my 16th birthday. It was so exciting, and I had a great time. After I went to school, I came home and my family and I watched the video that my dad took after I was born with my immediate family and my grandparents holding me for the first time. And although I don’t remember those times when I was just a few hours old, seeing that video means a whole lot to me. It’s meaningful to see me then because it truly shows how faithful God has been to me since that age that I can’t even remember. Turning another year older made me reflect on all the memories of my life–the joys, the sadnesses, the heartaches, and the triumphs that have accompanied each year of my life. It’s so cool to see what God has done in my life in retrospect…even if I didn’t notice how much of a role that He played in my life at the time.
In the end, God’s ways are the best. I can see that through the past, and I can only hope and pray that as I keep living day to day, I will be able to take on that mindset that God is faithful through every future situation.
“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”
It’s pretty awesome…this passage of James is kind of like the 1 Corinthians 13 for love, but instead for wisdom. When we are jealous and selfish, we aren’t showing God’s kind of wisdom. Jealousy and selfishness don’t come from God. In fact, they are just a product of us living here on earth. The problem is, the longer we’re here, the more we’re used to these emotions. Plenty of times I’ve been jealous and selfish, and I haven’t even realized it until I’ve truly examined myself. It’s scary to think that we can be causing disorder in our own lives without even realizing it.
When we have God’s true wisdom, we won’t act out in jealousy or want anything for ourselves. We will be pure, and all we’ll want for others is to bless them–even if that means that we cause ourselves discomfort. In fact, when we are truly walking in God’s wisdom, simple tasks of going out of our way for others won’t be uncomfortable.
…This concept is definitely something I need to work on. As I said before, jealousy and selfishness go hand and hand in my life. It’s hard for one of them to not be there if the other is present. And even worse is what these two lead to: entitlement. This is thinking I deserve better just because of who I am. But who am I? I am just a vapor in the wind. I’m no more special than anybody else. We’re all God’s children. And when I begin to feel entitled because I’m reading my Bible and going to church when others aren’t, that is so destructive. Things I do for God aren’t to “up” my status, they’re to show God how much I love Him. Nothing else. Daily I’m going to have to ask God for His eyes to see others the way He would, and for a humble heart to love others unconditionally, even when in my human flesh it is impossible. I am nothing with my own wisdom, but with God’s wisdom, I am sincere and pure.
Book of James…why must you be so convicting?…;)