Even though the New Testament book of James was written over 2000 years ago, it is very pertinent for today. For instance, the first eight verses of this book describe the hustle and bustle of modern living. It talks about a person’s efforts to be on both sides of the fence. It talks about trying to live a life that waivers and tosses a person back and forth. James goes so far as to say a person who lives a double life can become unstable.
Look to see how we can complicate our lives in different ways and for different reasons. We have modern clichés to define such a life. We say we are chasing our tail. We say that we catch ourselves coming and going. We say that we do not know up from down. We say that we did a lot but accomplished little. It would be good for us to look how we complicate our lives.
Taking from this passage of James we learn if we allow temptations to take hold in our lives, they become sin. We are all subject to certain temptations. We might say that we each have our favorite flavor of temptation. Some temptations are of no consequence and easily resisted. Other temptations are magnetic.
There is every likelihood that we could set too many goals. When we do that, the goals become our own and not that of God’s. A concerted effort to be submitted to God is to routinely ask ourselves is this from us or where does God want to take us. If we set the goals without God’s blessing, they can become self-serving and fruitless. If God gives us the goals, we have direction and purpose. It is not easy to allow God’s total dominance over our lives. However, that should be our primary efort. In seeking God’s goals, we are also seeking to please God. In pleasing God, we find pleasure and stability for ourselves.
Everyone wants a friend. Sometimes we allow those friends to overly influence us. Sometimes we can be so concerned about other people and their welfare that we take on their issues and we become part of their neediness and their sin. Instead of being the rescuer (as we would like to think of ourselves), we get sucked into the problem and need to be rescued. Instead of lifting someone else up by being overly involved in their issues we can be brought down to the muck of confusion mixing their issues with our own.
There was the other side of the coin in trying to live for God. Everyone knows we should live by faith. When we over analyze faith, it can become a matter of a question and not a statement. Faith is an experience; it is an action. Faith is not static nor is it subject to analysis. Faith is a gift of God and something to be enjoyed in fellowship with him. Under the weight of concerns and problems it is easy to be distracted and faith questioned is diluted faith.
Sometimes the ego and how we define ourselves become so important that we make excuses for what we think and what behavior we display. As result, we can become defensive against God. This gives us permission to maintain that which should not have been there in the first place. When that happens it likely turns to sin. If we make an excuse about ourselves, it is a red flag against God and not a white flag of surrender to him. Then we become stationary and do not grow spiritually. Further and further of this behavior can lead to a backslidden state.
Any positive influence that we could gain from the church or from godly people is minimalized when living a complicated life Certainly, the person who wants to busy himself with so many distractions, temptations, and sins will not look introspectively. That is the person who devalues positive spiritual input. This is the state of self-imposed blindness. It is a time when we convince ourselves that spiritual growth is unnecessary, and the influence of the church and godly people is likewise nothing.
Every believer knows that prayer is a vital part of spiritual growth. Praying in the right format, as taught by Jesus, can uncomplicated our lives. Praying in such a way that we already decided the answer without waiting for God to show the answer is a set up for failure. This is a negative influence for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Egotism and self-righteousness can add to a complicated life The Bible says that the word of God is a light unto our path. That does not mean that the entire path is lit ahead. It means that as we take each step in God’s light, his word will show us the next step. Without God’s light then we avoid reevaluating the path that we are taking. While on the wrong path there will be unnecessary detours and obstructions. Taking God’s path requires surrender. The human nature must be overcome and constrained.
We are not alone on the path we walk. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and our comforter. He is our friend that is constantly with us. He is the one that provides encouragement and revelations. Refusing to enjoy the effects of the Holy Spirit’s influence is a tragic thing. It is like refusing to look at the map on a journey. It is like refusing to ask for directions when lost. It is like suffering a wound and refusing to go to the hospital to get stitches. It is like refusing to talk on the telephone with a love one when a kind word would be so helpful.
There are some things in life that is so obvious that anything else seems foolish. There are some things in life that dictate obvious outcome. We tell a child not to touch a hot burner and explain that it will hurt and burn. For a person who claims to be a Christian and discards what God would offer, he will complicate his life. It Is also foolish. Yet, it is so easy to favor the unworkable and that which has only negative results instead of the obvious good things that God would offer and provide.
It’s very difficult to think in a calm rational manner when a person pushes himself too hard. To not get proper rest and push oneself physically will likely lead to illness. To push oneself mentally and not be in tune to priorities can lead one to a state of feeling overloaded and confused. Pushing oneself spiritually may seem like a good thing, but to be so wrapped up in church and religious oriented matters ignores other responsibilities like family and work and free time. There certainly must be a balance in how much to push and in what areas to push.
Sometimes our lives can be so busy and jumbled that we do not know black from white. To step aside and see what is going on, the answer is so clear. Life does not need to be complicated. Life can have many responsibilities and individuals involved in our various areas. That still does not mean that we need to spread ourselves so thin we have nothing available to resolve any issue. When we refer to the proverbial class that is either half empty or half full, we can also say that when we give ourselves too much to responsibilities or people and and empty art glass we tend to ignore God in the process, we hurt ourselves. We can uncomplicated our lives by seeing what has complicated them in the first place