In our last two visits we considered some of James’ closing thoughts in his book. We looked at consistency and compassion. Consistency can at times lead to a legalistic mindset that becomes overly judgmental. Compassion can lead to the other extreme, where we’re too soft on sin and focus on dealing with symptoms rather than the cause.
Jesus Christ always kept these in balance as he dealt with people. Consistency without compassion leads to callousness. Compassion without consistency results in confusion. Consistency and compassion together manifest Christ-likeness. That is the ideal James was working toward in his book.
Under the title, Christianity in Street Clothes, he touches on many very practical maters that require both consistency and compassion.
Dealing with the rich and poor.
The way in which we use our tongue.
Using heavenly wisdom rather than earthly wisdom.
Demonstrating our faith by our behavior.
Dealing with those who are sick.
Coming to the church elders for prayer.
We saw in each of these situations, if both the person in need and those reaching out to meet their need, exercised these two characteristics, consistency and compassion, healing would take place. Restored relationships would result. And together they would make a greater impact for Christ in their community and world.
As we conclude our study of the book of James let’s pray that our worship, walk, witness and work be a harmonious symphony of praise to the glory of God and the good of others.