Roughed UP

Have you held a golf ball in your hand? Probably, all of you have. Did you know when they first manufactured golf balls, they made them smooth? But later on, it was discovered, that after a ball had been roughed up, they could get a lot more distance out of it. So, they started making them with a dimpled cover.

That’s just the way it is with life. It takes some rough spots in our lives to make us go our farthest. As much as I don’t like to hear that sometimes, it’s still the truth.

An Army Chaplain had a sign on his door that said, “If you have troubles, come in & tell me all about them. If you don’t have troubles, come in & tell me how you do it.”

I think James was solution oriented and had the heart of a counselor at the same time. His whole letter talks about making proper use of trials but he also addresses the wisdom involved in building relationships with anyone. He’ll give us a relational understanding to Modus Operandi, that is, if lasting change is happening in our lives.

For instance, one disorder in the early Jewish Christian assembly had to do with the tongue and how they used it to build or destroy each other. We’ll get to this in future blogs, but before we do, I noticed how James ended verse one with “Greeting!” That’s kind of like saying, “Man, it’s good to see you and talk.”

This isn’t a technique a sales person might use if they want you to buy their product. It’s not a way of keeping people at arm’s length to protect us from them. It’s not about making sure we’re elected if we’re running for a government office.

There’s something about a smile coming from someone who is truly excited about seeing us. It lifts our spirits, when we’re down.

If we were a golf ball, there will be times we might think James is roughing us up a bit. But he wants us to know he does care and is really excited to see and talk with us too. I’ll listen and interact with him and others when that is true.

How important is it to know that, before someone speaks truth to us about our Modus Operandi? Whether it’s me, you, or someone like James?

5 thoughts on “Roughed UP

  1. John, you are correct. Terry lives in Chattanooga and is my twin brother. He has his approach to James and it is clear what you both say about the book. My hope is to stir thinking about relationships where any twistedness can be dealt with so our modus operandi is one where love for the Lord and each other is apparent. Thank you two for weighing in.

  2. The book of James will open the door to insights into our lives and behavior, that’s a given. But, it is a common way to study James. From my view of this book, it is more than tips for daily living on how to walk and act like a believer. The focus in my opinion is on judgment of the way we walk and then that is clarified by the Lord when we stand before him in judgment. The book is about relationship but ultimately is about accountability before the Lord. James said it, “Grudge not one against another brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” (James 5:9)

    1. Is this the Terry from the Chattanoga Choo Choo who lived in Saginaw in the 60s? James is a good example of what church unity should be and an individuals attitude and deportment in the local church and society in general.