Last post I tried to prepare myself for the difficulty of what these next verses mean… There is a reason there are so many promises for God’s strength and grace for us in Scripture. ūüôā

James-series

 Diving right into it:

in answering the question from verse 1: LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

3~He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

4~In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

5~He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

So these verses continue with how am able to dwell in God’s Holy Hill (His tabernacle, now ME)… 

I must NOT:

backbite:

slander or spy out against

do evil to my neighbour

be disagreeable, vicious, unkind or unethical towards ALL MEN [“who is my neighbour?” ~Luke 10:27-37]

take up a reproach against [anyone]

taunt or scorn or disgrace–my neighbor [anyone].

{{Is this convicting anyone else?}}

still NOT:

put out money in usury

to be honest, this sounds as though we are not to make investments… and I cannot say that it is not saying that, though I doubt it; but I do know positively that in the OT, God warns us against lending money to a friend¬†and charging a usury [interest fee] but encourages rather that we GIVE graciously to a friend in need… and only expect back the exact of what we lent [if anything].

take a reward against the innocent

a reward against would be a bribe… against the innocent. Do not let yourself be bought. If you have a price, someone will ‘buy you.’

They will buy your silence “if you want to keep your job” … buy your loyalty “if you want the connections”…, etc. We must stand for right and NOT “have a price.”

{{ouch… seriously, is anyone else even still reading this?}}

pink tip rose

and a few things we MUST DO:

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned

This one is hard, difficult… our eyes must find vileness contemptible. And not just that, but the person becomes loathsome to us. I think, this is difficult because as a society, we are so “into God’s Grace” and often tend to ignore His Justice.

BUT this is NOT a license to treat people with disdain or to think of ourselves a better person. We ALL have the capacity to become a vile person. If you feel differently about yourself, I would send you to Jeremiah in chapter 17: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

This IS¬†having discernment. We must not allow ourselves to become calloused to recognizing wickedness. And we must recognize when a person is habitually vile. And we must realize that these people should not be our regular companions… [Psalm 1]

honoureth them that fear the LORD

We must give honor to, make weighty or heavy [the testimony of] people who fear the Lord… and prove it with their actions. These people deserve our respect and, to an extent, our emulation [1 Corinthiasn 11:1]… as they continue following Christ. [Many Proverbs, 1 Corinthians 11:1…]

sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not

We must keep our promises, even when it causes discomfort to ourselves… and not let it change who we are. This is difficult. This is one reason I try to give great thought to anything even remotely like a “promise.” We are bound by our word, whether we actually carry it through or not. God knows.

If you’re still ¬†here… thank you for sticking it out.¬†

As I mentioned before: Becoming a mature Christian is not an easy path, but God does  promise to help us.

Please share your thoughts on these verses in the comments! I enjoy different perspectives.

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