"Martin Luther once compared the Christian to a drunk man trying to ride a horse. It’s a comically apt comparison. This man scrambles up one side of the horse, and promptly falls off the opposite side. So then he climbs up from that side, and falls right off the other. Luther meant to say that as Christians, we are prone to extremes. When we are not veering too far in one direction, we are swerving too far in the other.." from the article: How to Know Satan is Tempting You
This so apply describes Christianity in America today. We are human after all and there is always the tendency to rush to an extreme to attempt to offset a perceived wrong and in doing so we fall off the other side of the horse.
What then can you and I do to avoid theses behaviors? Lets look at what James had to tell us.
"My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works—this person will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, his religion is useless and he deceives himself. Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
— James 1:19-27
What James shows us is the embodiment of Godly wisdom. This is what it looks like; quick to listen, slow to anger from which he goes on to say be doers and not hearers only. This is a red flag for us today! Many Christians in America have become hearers only, lukewarm, shallow and superficial, in essence just like the culture. The seeming daily announcements of Christians leaving the faith is really just those who lacked commitment, who heard the word but did not do it. The know about Christ but do not know him.
Is this you? Reflect and if it is then confess and repent, change your behavior to actually speak to and worship your Lord!
If we are hearers only and we are prone to anger we are not displaying "The Fruit of the Spirit" in any way.
This is huge in our daily life as a Christian!
Paul says in Philippians 2:12-13, the salvation that we are to work out with fear and trembling has been worked in us by God. God puts it in and we work it out!
The Gospel is in the text. For the Gospel to enter our human spirit through the Person of the Holy Spirit we must not just read it we must understand it and relate it to life, our life. This is always done as we pray daily and seek God's wisdom.
How saturated is your daily life in the Word of God?
Here is what Charles Spurgeon said about John Bunyan that gives us an example to follow.
"Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord—not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord.
I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress—that sweetest of all prose poems—without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere—his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved."
We cannot escape the fact of how shallow we have become in our faith!
What we need, what God gives us begins on the inside. Application is not the result of once a week church attendance or reading a book.
So I poise a question? Can you rearrange your priorities, your life to put Christ and his Holy Word at the center? Our time here is very limited and precious. You may not have tomorrow.
The Gospel empowers our works as Christ gets the glory. Paul made it clear: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.”