Wednesday, December 16, 2020

"And how did that make you feel?"



"And how did that make you feel?"  

This is a question our friends who are Christian counselors often ask.  We tease our counselor friends that they fill their time with clients answering a question with a question.   

"And how did that make you feel?"  

I know when I'm asked that question, I could talk for an hour non-stop.  

In the book of James, the author uses the trick of the counselor when he asks these questions. 

What causes fights and quarrels among you? 

Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  (James 4:1)

James could have sat back after those two questions and got an ear full.

These questions which begin the chapter of James 4 are actually connected to the meaning found in chapter 3.  

James continued a single thought from chapter 3 comparing the results of living by the wisdom of heaven versus living by the wisdom of the world.

Worldly wisdom tells us that to be happy we should identify what we want and then go after it at all costs.  Many people may think...and what could be wrong with that?  

Well, the problem with worldly wisdom is that it only looks inward, focusing on what's good for ME and what I want. 

When we put our feelings above our sisters and brothers in Christ, then we are focusing on our wants above others'.

Here is a quote, I came across in reference to this verse.  (source unknown) 

This un-heavenly wisdom is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic, leading to disorder and all kinds of evil practices.  James scolds his readers, who, though they are Christians, are continuing to live by the world's warped wisdom.

OUCH!  James might as well have been foretelling the events of 2020.  

The community James wrote to were in conflict.  In the above counseling questions, he asked them, what is causing your fights and quarrels?  

If the early church was anything like Christians in 2020, the first thing they would have done when asked this question from James, "What causes fights and quarrels among you?" They would blame those who disagree with them.  

"It's their fault because..."

Why did these Christians willingly choose to fight and quarrel with each other? 

I'll answer that...because they didn't trust that God knows the future and all things are within His sight and control.

As Christians, can we really do whatever we want even if it hurts other people when we feel we're right?  

I say, "NO!"  

No, we can't hurt people with our opinions or our words whether they are spoken or written.  

In humility, we should acknowledge that our wants, desires, and plans are submitted to the Lord, and trust Him...even when things don't go our way.

Okay, I have to ask, "And how did that make you feel?"  


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