Summary: A challenge to leave behind our love affair with the world, and go for God’s greater grace
Go for greater grace. James 4:1-6
Some examples of ¡¥wisdom from below¡¦:
"The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypisalanti, Michigan at 7:50am, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn¡¦t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren¡¦t available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away."
Karen Lee Joachimmi, 20, was arrested in Lake City, Florida for robbery of a Howard Johnson¡¦s motel. She was armed with only an electric chain saw, which was not plugged in."
"When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his hose into the motor home¡¦s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he¡¦d ever had."
"Germany: Oil of Olay no longer turning the trick for her, a woman decided that she would bathe in the milk of a camel (a modern-day Cleopatra). So she stole a camel from the local zoo (where *else* can you find a camel when you need one?) and transported it back to her house ¡V where she realized that the camel¡¦s name was "Otto."
"(Location Unknown): A man successfully broke into a bank¡¦s basement through a street-level window, cutting himself up pretty badly in the process. He then realized that (1) he could not get to the money from where he was, (2) he could not climb back out the window through which he had entered, and (3) he was bleeding pretty badly. So he located a phone and dialed "911" for help."
From The Crippling Effects of Envy James 4:1-10 by Darren Ethier on www.sermoncentral.com
Now- not quite so funny- but resolved by wisdom from above:
Years ago, a large statue of Christ was erected high in the Andes on the border between Argentina and Chile. Called "Christ of the Andes," the statue symbolizes a pledge between the two countries that as long as the statue stands, there will be peace between Chile and Argentina. Shortly after the statue was erected, the Chileans began to protest that they had been slighted -- the statue had its back turned to Chile. Just when tempers were at their highest in Chile, a Chilean newspaperman saved the day. In an editorial that not only satisfied the people but made them laugh, he simply said, "The people of Argentina need more watching over than the Chileans.
Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992. From What Should You Do When You Have Been Quarrelling? James 4:1-4 by Paul Fritz www.sermoncentral.com
Not so funny as it¡¦s talking about ¡¥Christians¡¦ who should know better!
This passage here is talking about Xians!
- AD Christians acting BC.
o End of ch 3 compares 2 wisdoms: from above and below
o Ch 4:1-3 is an example of the wisdom from below
¡¥But of course it¡¦s not literal¡¦
- possibly not. Maybe it¡¦s hyperbole. Maybe it¡¦s just talking about their attitudes rather than actions
o they weren¡¦t actually killing each other- just ¡¥thought¡¦ about it
„X (mind you, Jesus didn¡¦t differentiate!)
- but it¡¦s quite possible it WAS literal. (shocking!)
o HAS happened in religious history (DR Congo etc)
o Wouldn¡¦t happen today?
„X The point is: James wants us to realise it can!
In 1960, Israeli undercover agents orchestrated the daring kidnapping of one of the worst of the Holocaust¡¦s masterminds, Adolf Eichmann. After capturing him in his South American hideout, they transported him to Israel to stand trial.
There, prosecutors called a string of former concentration camp prisoners as witnesses. One was a small man named Yehiel Dinur, who had miraculously escaped death in Auschwitz.
On his day to testify, Dinur entered the courtroom and stared at the man in the bulletproof glass booth ¡V the man who had murdered Dinur¡¦s friends, personally executed a number of Jews, and presided over the slaughter of millions more. As the eyes of the two men met ¡V victim and murderous tyrant ¡V the courtroom fell silent, filled with the tension of the confrontation. But no one was prepared for what happened next.
Yehiel Dinur began to shout and sob, collapsing to the floor.
Was he overcome by hatred? By the horrifying memories? By the evil incarnate in Eichmann¡¦s face?
No. As he later explained in a riveting 60 Minutes interview, it was because Eichmann was not the demonic personification of evil that Dinur had expected. Rather, he was an ordinary man, just like anyone else. And in that one instant, Dinur came to a stunning realization that sin and evil are the human condition. ¡§I was afraid about myself,¡¨ Dinur said. ¡§I saw that I am capable to do this ¡K exactly like he.¡¨