Devotion taken from the NKJ version: James 4:17.
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him, it’s a sin.
Christianity is generally assumed to be a condition which shackles its followers only with directives of prohibitions. This verse is poignant in its expression of the larger, more important half of believers’ responsibility to the rest of the world. Jesus spent the entire Beatitudes – his biggest recorded sermon – and indeed his entire ministry, giving us positive guidelines about the things we should do as human beings.
When I became a Christian, I spent my first few years staying away from the forbidden things. Consequently, my entire life became stunted and imprisoned, and my spiritual progression went nowhere. My Christianity began to reach maturity the day I found this verse and realised that I needed instead, to learn about the things I should be doing if the fulfilment I desired was ever going to be achieved. Later when I became a missionary and started sharing my knowledge of the Lord with others, I realised that the ‘doing part’ of Christianity was what my heart was missing.
Lord help me to understand that when I pray for patience, my faith has to be tested, when I pray for strength, my weaknesses have to be revealed, and that true happiness comes first from experiencing what sadness is. Lord, help me to reach maturity in my Christianity by doing the good things I know I should do. Amen.
This week amid the worldly rat-race of constant activity, set aside some time to build your spiritual fulfilment by doing random acts of kindness for others.
For a total stranger – If your waitress looks like she’s having a hard day, leave her an extra big tip. Not only will it surprise and cheer her up, but it will also mean that her next customer would receive a pleasant greeting from her. You’ll be doing your bit for sharing a handful of happiness around.
For a member of your family – Restore something that your sibling gave you a long time ago, something she/he would’ve forgotten about, but that you had kept and cherished. Return it with a small present and a personal message. This will show them how much they mean, and have always meant to you. You could also use this item as your avatar on your social networking site, this would always put a smile on their face whenever they click on your page.
For your children – In the morning when you’re rushing to work and your children are running off to school, spare one moment during the hustle and bustle to stop, smile, and pay them a compliment. This will tide them over a very stressful school day, and will remind them that you love them, no matter what happens there. No matter how young or old your children are, they will appreciate this, even if they never tell you how much.
For more writing on our relationship with God, visit my blog, The Relationship Supermarket.com