Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Book of James is Kicking My Butt

Yeah, James does that sometimes.

I'm copying and pasting directly from, from the newest edition of the NIV.

James 1

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 

 I'd say that describing the last six months of our lives as "trials" would be accurate. We've fought more than we have in our entire marriage.  We're exhausted from the (completely normal) 24-hour-a-day responsibility that comes from a new baby.  Lots of hidden thoughts have come out into the light.  Worst of all, we've both seen how startlingly immature we can be in certain areas. 

Then James kicks my butt some more:

  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  

I almost feel like he's saying, "Don't worry, I have more bad news for you, but it will give you all the maturity you need for the next phase in your life."  It's like a doctor with a 5-foot-long needle saying, "This won't hurt a bit." :)

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

I've struggled so much in my life with wanting wealth, and this passage was a much-needed dose of reality.  Chasing money is like chasing tomorrow--as soon as you get to it, it moves further away.  

I've also carried a lot of faulty beliefs about money: "I can't really focus on a creative enterprise until my family is wealthy enough to justify my not working another job."  That's just dumb; the other day, my kids watched Fat Albert make band instruments out of  trash.  The Stomp phenomenon was born out of a bunch of people making music from .  Heck, I used trash to make my first mixed-media journal, and it got published!  It was my first published piece in an art magazine!  

So why do I carry around the belief that I have to be debt-free before I can make music?  

I have three new songs to learn for worship band this weekend, and I need to get on it. :) 

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