Monday, January 16, 2012

Going Deeper - week of January 15

What does "witness in a pluralistic society" look like?  Yesterday Rev. Dan Kuiper challenged us to not just talk about witness in a pluralistic society (i.e. a place with many gods and many truth claims), but to actually pray and begin to do it - witnessing to the person of Jesus.

Over the past few weeks we have also talked about the importance of not only HEARING truth, but also DOING it.  And one way that we can DO what we know is true is by "taming the tongue".  So our reading for this week will come from James 3.

Read James 3:1-18

James begins by highlighting the heavy responsibility shouldered by teachers because teachers are not only responsible for what they say but also what they do.  Speaking truth without living truth is hypocrisy, whereas living the truth we speak is integrity.  Teachers are called to teach with integrity.

Then James talks about the tongue's destructive power.  I am sure many of us can think of times when someone cut us down with their words.  Words are destructive and their power is wielded by the tongue.

While the "taming the tongue" portion of James 3 is often quoted, the real payoff comes at the end of the chapter.  Here James tells us not only what NOT to do, but what TO DO.  This is true wisdom, and it is the source of righteousness.  (Read James 3:13-18; esp. verse 18)

You see true wisdom is not measured by what we know, but by what we do.  A person who knows what to do, but chooses not to do it is not wise.  The person is only wise who knows what to do and then does it!  Again the emphasis is not simply knowledge, but action (not just hearing, but doing).

So how are you sowing in peace so that you will raise a harvest of righteousness?  Can you think of other scriptures which might shed light on this subject.  The book of Proverbs is a good source for learning true wisdom, but remember wisdom is not measured by what we know, but what we do.

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