James gives a Warning:

“Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:13-17, The Bible

15 thoughts on “James gives a Warning:

  1. Footnotes for verse 17: ” We tend to think that doing wrong is sin. But James tells us that sin is also not doing right. (These two kinds of sin are sometimes called sins of commission and sins of omission.) It is a sin to lie; it can also be a sin to know the truth and not tell it. It is a sin to speak evil of someone; it is also a sin to avoid that person when you know he or she needs your friendship. You should be willing to help as the Holy Spirit guides you. If God has directed you to do a kind act, to render a service, or to restore a relationship, do it. You will experience a renewed and refreshed vitality to your Christian faith.”

    Seems as though James has given us a “wake-up call” this morning?

  2. With reference to sins of commission and omission, it seems that James is saying that we can spend so much time thinking about and planning the future that we miss the opportunities afforded us by the present and never live in the now of what God intends for us to do.
    Along with those thoughts, we can always be planning on working (after we finish planning our tomorrows that may never come) but never getting to it. Saying what we ought to do, but never doing it. Wishful thinking leads to procrastination.

  3. “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.” James

    I wonder if we would even recognize our boasting? We seem to be running around talking non-stop about our plans, where we are going and then going again and then again. Many times it sounds like a needle stuck on an old 33. If the Lord wants us to? Does this make you laugh out of puzzlement? I am thinking when is the last time I have heard this? And, to think James says, if you are just talking about your own plans, that is evil.

  4. Yeah, Debi. Wishful thinking IS procrastination. Because as long as we are conjuring up the great feats we are going to accomplish for the Lord when our ship comes in, when our great Uncle dies and leaves us a fortune, when we move into a better house, when we retire….etc. etc. etc.
    just as you said, that keeps our mind out of living in the moment, working in the moment and recognizing that this is the very tomorrow that we day-dreamed about yesterday and so it goes. It’s like a rosary of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, repeat and repeat and repeat. Life is put on hold as we wait to really live …”TOMORROW”, which may never come. And if it does come we are not skilled to live it, to celebrate it, to participate fully and properly in it because we have had no previous experience in really living …for we have put it off until tomorrow.

  5. Proverbs 27:1 “Don’t brag about tomorrow since you don’t know what the day will bring.” We better be careful about how we discuss tomorrow, as MG said above, tomorrow may never come.” We were never promised tomorrow. We must be careful not to put tomorrow before God. We are not in control of tomorrow, only God is in control of our tomorrow. Each day we plan for tomorrow and before we know it, we have waisted half our life, planning for something we have no control over. Planning for tomorrow is like chasing “the end of the rainbow” and many times chasing it in the “fog”. So let us stop focusing on tomorrow that may never come and start focusing on Jesus Christ that will soon come. Be ready at all times and let us prepare for our eternal future and stop worring about our earthly future.

  6. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings for death. James 1:13-15

  7. Interesting footnotes to James 1: 13-15, read with me: “It is easy to blame others and make excuses for evil thoughts and wrong actions. We use excuses such as: (1) It’s the other person’s fault; (2) I couldn’t help it: (3) everybody’s doing it; (4) it was just a mistake; (5) nobody’s perfect; (6) the devil made me do it’ (7) I was pressured into it (8) I didn’t know it was wrong; or (9) God is tempting me. A person who makes excuses is trying to shift the blame from himself or herself to something or someone else. A Christian, on the other hand, accepts responsibility for his or her wrongs, confesses them, and asks God for forgiveness.”

    These footnotes just stop me in my tracks. If I understand it, I believe these footnotes are saying that if we use excuses, then we are just trying to skip over our responsibility? Am I on the right track?

  8. Right track it is. One needs to recognize they have done wrong in a given situation. I think this is where the train gets off tract. No power in this type of caboose.

  9. In the vein of living in the moment and not daydreaming or vainly planning tomorrows or the days after tomorrows, etc. like Jesus’ half-brother James admonishes in his Epistle….I like the quote that Art Linkletter has quoted perhaps from another source, about his life. It seems that he was planning and devising a program and plotting his life according to how he thought it should go and what profession HE HAD DECIDED to pursue…he says, “I was studying to be an English professor. But as they say, life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.” That’s what we miss when we are constantly thinking about the future. We miss what God has for us today, as was said by several of the Lilies, above.
    And look what a wonderful career he had in making people laugh and bringing joy to thousands on his radio, TV programs and through his hilarious books , one of which is… “CHILDREN SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS” He let what PRESENTED ITSELF in the PRESENT, guide him to what the Lord had for him. And God did a good job in choosing Art Linkletter’s career instead of Art’s choosing it.

  10. If I understand I John 1:9-10, correctly, it seems if we shift the blame for our sins to someone else, we are in denial about our own sin and are liars. And not only are we liars, now we are calling God a liar. And if we don’t face and confess our sins, how can we be forgiven and cleansed? Maybe the person we shifted the blame to will be God’s object of forgiveness since we don’t want it.
    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
    I John 1:9-10

  11. Good scripture, Debi. Here are the footnotes for 1 John 1: 8-10. “The false teachers not only denied that sin breaks fellowship with God (1:6) and that they had a sinful nature (1:8), but they also denied that their conduct involved any sin at all (1:10). That was a lie that ignored one basic truth: All people are sinners by nature and by practice. At conversion all our sins are forgiven–past, present, and future. Yet even after we become Christians, we still sin and still need to confess. This kind of confession is not offered to gain God’s acceptance but to remove the barrier to fellowship that our sin has put between us and him. It is difficult, however, for many people to admit their faults and shortcomings, even to God. It takes humility and honesty to recognize our weaknesses, and most of us would rather pretend that we are strong. But we need not fear revealing our sins to God– he knows them already. He will not push us away, no matter what we’ve done. Instead, he will draw us to himself.”

    What a loving God we serve!

  12. Needles these footnotes point out the vital importance of being real and authentic. Pretending is deceptive to ourselves and to others and surely can’t bring the freedom and fellowship promised us by Christ.
    “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
    I John 1:7

  13. And, so many spend their time finding ways to avoid truth and themselves. To know oneself and to find out oneself is authentic is like a fresh spring of water. Psalm 133:2 sings this peace into our hearts with his beautiful poetry,
    “For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.” New Living Translation (©2007)

  14. SPECKS & PLANKS…..Also, many of us are attempt to always be removing the speck in another’s eye and are oblivious to the speck or even the plank in our own eye. Jesus said that we must remove the plank in our own eye to see more clearly how to help remove the speck or plank in another’s eye. The commandment to “do unto others as we wish others (especially our brothers & sisters in Christ) to do unto us” should be ever before us in relationships with God’s children. Avoiding our speck and planks is like avoiding truth about ourselves. We’re dogged on doing it our way. This also is a “hindering” spirit to the progress of ministry and Kingdom building.

  15. MG, This happens to a lot of people in the church when they get old. As long as I can remember church the biggest problem in the church was the old people. We tried it, we have done it, yack, yack. Old people in the church so often seem to have an allergic reaction to the new. Can’t hear, can’t see and can’t think and refuse to cooperate with the new. Always offended because they themselves can’t hear, can’t see and think everybody is going to dance to their tune and they are way off tune.

    Hard to get OLD!

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