Prayer: Make me wise, O Lord.
Reading: James 3:13-18 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I’d like to make two columns, but not sure how I would do that in the format we use for these devotions. So, just 2 lists--
Gentleness, pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, mercy, good fruits.
Bitter envy, selfish ambition, boastful, disorder, wickedness.
The first list is the one I like. I imagine myself in that camp which James calls “wisdom from above.” If we could just all subscribe to that wisdom. (Imagine how that might affect the political discourse in our nation!)
But, I have to admit that I sometimes find myself in the second list— “wisdom which is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.” Selfish is one of the biggies for me. Sometimes I get turned inward and those outside me are harmed. When I think back I often conclude, “That was dumb.”
God will always forgive us when we get into the bad stuff. But I’m sure the4 Lord would rather we just be smart in the first place. In the end we’ll be better off. Not only will our behavior be good for those around us, it will also be a blessing to us. --Jim Bricker
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