I swear to God…Cross my heart and hope to die…I really mean it this time…I promise…May lightening strike me dead if…
A fireworks display ends with a grand finale and so does James’ letter to struggling Christians. His finale will be about a revival of soul and spirit for struggling Christians in Jerusalem. Does that sound exciting to anyone?
Have you noticed how that word revival hasn’t been heard much in the last few decades of Christian Culture? It used to apply to a spiritual awakening that was happening throughout the USA or other parts of the world. Now, it’s only a language used in pockets of Christian Culture—anywhere.
I know there are ideas out there about how to get a spiritual revival going or worked up organizationally, but James’ doesn’t approach it that way. He starts much simpler, which is why I like his modus operandi. His starting point isn’t what many would think should be the place to start, but I like it. Let me explain.
Relational accountability is central to deep changes in our lives and that’s where James begins, if we’re going to have a revival in our soul and spirit.
Here’s what he said:
Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned. James 5:12 NIV
There’s a very serious ailment that affects the Christian community today, as it did in James’ day, and it is this: What we have in mind and what we actually say can be quite different. Afraid to say what was really on their minds, even though at times that can be a good thing, he declares that honesty is a necessity and not an option for Christ followers.
I often hear the phrase “Just saying.” I know that phrase is cultural and supposed to be a cool thing, but James doesn’t talk like that. People can go to great lengths to convince others they are being honest by sending messages like you saw used in the beginning of this blog.
But put simply, the revival of our soul and spirit begins by saying what we mean and meaning what we say. Now that’s a pattern of responsibility that could move hearts and minds. No hiding! What a great place to begin a spiritual revival of yours or my soul and spirit. What do you think?