It is a book centered on practical living of faith, or practical theology. The Book of James is attributed to Jesus’ brother and is filled with tidbits of wisdom on how to live our faith in the normalcy of our daily life. The early church was excited about the transformative experience of being ‘The People of the Way’ and the transformation that they had experienced. Even in the midst of that, we see the starting of quarrels centered on power, possessions and pride. Every generation since has struggled with the reality that we can have profound experiences of God and still seek our own advantage.
In James 3, he speaks about learning to live with the wisdom of God. Read James 3:13-18. Among his community it is being revealed that there are those who know the right things to say but aren’t living by the ethos of Jesus. They are still stuck in the mire of meism. They are stuck in jealousy and selfish ambition which can be blinding to one’s perception of self.
He summons them to turn to the way of God and the wisdom of pure living. The translation I read uses words like pure, peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good actions, fair and genuine. It leads to planting seeds of justice that take root and become peace. That is a high vision and calling, isn’t it?! That deep question that we have all wrestled with—“What is my purpose?” “Why am I here?” The answer isn’t found in the often looked areas of money, power, pleasure and the like. It is found in being…being a conduit of God in a broken world that mends and heals the brokenness as we work together to bring wholeness, or restoration, to our world. May this vision be yours as well!