James 3, verse 2 starts off with the words: “For in many things we offend all…” Let me ask you, is it easy to offend? Absolutely!
If you have any question, just turn on the news. These days in particular its seems like each day brings someone else’s grievance out. Someone is upset over what this person said or did or didn’t say or didn’t do, etc, etc, etc. It’s extremely easy to upset and offend people today, isn’t it?
This isn’t new though. Offending people with our words and actions is no new phenomenon. It has been around since the beginning. That’s what James is alluding to here.
Teachers, leaders, preachers, people in authority of all kinds face a harsher judgement than others because of the role they find themselves in. It’s just a simple fact. Those in authority have big bullseyes on their backs. That’s not all though…
You see, James goes on, and he reminds us that we are ALL sinners. We ALL have sinful failings. We ALL possess fleshy desires to do evil things. We ALL stumble. We ALL make mistakes. Every single one of us – every single day – we ALL fall time and again!
Now, the Greek word translated here “to stumble” does not imply a fatal fall, but something that trips us up and hinders our progress with the Lord. It’s not the end-of-the-world, you see, when we make these mistakes as long as we do what we have to with it.
We have to get back up when we stumble! That’s the trick! We have got to dust ourselves off and look to the Lord again!
James here includes himself amongst those who stumble. He knows we are all apt to fall. Even so, he doesn’t excuse HIS stumbling or ours. We have to get back up and walk closer to the Lord each time we fall!
We have to learn from our mistakes. We have to learn our weak spots. We have to acknowledge that they happen so that we can move on and avoid the pitfall next time.
You know, it’s easy for us to look at those who do wrong and judge them. It’s easy to be severe with their behavior. We oftentimes however fail to think about how much we may do which is offensive to them! We make much of what others do, but try to justify our actions. We assign magnitudes to sin, you see. A little white lie, for instance. James however addresses this powerfully in Chapter 2, verse 10, saying:
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Isn’t sin simply sin? Have you ever stole? Have you ever lied? We all have, haven’t we? Have you done worse though? Much worse, perhaps? Have you murdered, for instance? Thing may seem bit more serious now, yes?
Even so, if you break any commandment – a single one – James tells us you might as well have broken them all!
Aren’t we all guilty before God? All sin to God, other than blasphemy, is on equal footing! We ALL deserve hell, don’t we?!
Thank the Lord for His MERCY & GRACE!
For those of us who are growing in the faith, there is no mystery when we do something wrong. Right? We know when we have slipped up. Our conscience weighs heavy. The spirit burdens us. Regret lingers like a bad aftertaste.
This is a sign of Grace, friends. This is a sign that the Lord is working on us! Let Him work on you. Let Him refine you.
If we would just learn from our missteps, letting the Spirit guide us, we all could be better people. We all could be better than what we are.
Now, all that said, perhaps we could all look a little more closely at ourselves before we criticize others among us. Let us consider our own faults before we jump on another man about his…
“The Power of the Tongue” continues next time…
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