I had an epiphany as I wrote this blog. I actually had to backspace all of it because I answered my own questions. I was puzzled, but now it all makes sense to me. Allow me to attempt to explain.
In the book of James it speaks a lot about works and how to earn our way into gods love. But nearly everywhere else it’s all about forgiveness and freedom. So my thought, which is it?
Well, technically, it’s the forgiveness and freedom. But obviously the BULK of it is about the forgiveness and freedom and how we saved by grace through the blood of Jesus Christ. We are allowed to mess up, we can make mistakes…that’s how powerful this freedom is.
I heard an analogy this morning at church that I cant get out of my mind. It was extremely hypothetical, but allow me to share it and be open minded in the process!
There is a guy that lives over in Russia under a very powerful, crude leader (enter any name you’d like…maybe Stalin??) and then suddenly an American comes over, rescues him and brings him back to the US. This guy instantly (haha, yeah right) gets citizenship and all of a sudden has all of these freedoms. In America, we really do have a lot of freedoms. And you have to REALLY do something bad to lose your citizenship, right? I mean, this guy could be driving backwards going 90 mph in a 25 mph school area, get pulled, and still not loose his citizenship. Just because you fail miserably, doesn’t mean the US will disown you. The same is with God. Just because you do a bad job, doesn’t mean God wont still love you the same and you’ll be marked off the list from “heaven”…I mean really the only thing I can think of that you can do is to disown God. Doesn’t he say (very roughly) that if you disown him he will disown you? (I know I’m using the wrong word…It’ll come to me later) But God loves you no matter what you do.
But then my question was, well…why does James talk so much about work? And I know the books in the Bible were very specifically chosen, so why would it be allowed if it seems to contradictory? As your love grows for God the more you desire to obey his command. It’s basically that simple. My pastor gave an analogy towards this as well, I’ll attempt to repeat it.
Basically, it’s about parking in New York. It’s hard NOT to get a parking ticket. But apparently studies show that if you are from a country that is close to the US you were less likely to have gotten a ticket (not because the cops like you, but because they didn’t misbehave on purpose). But if you came from a country that doesn’t like us oh so much…you were much more likely to have gotten a ticket because you didn’t really care about obeying our laws.
Clearly, the same is with god. The closer you are the less likely you are to do something against his command. It doesn’t mean that you wont, it just means that you will be less likely to do so.
My relationship with god is still mending. We’re working on it. But it sure is good to know that he loves me without a shadow of doubt and it doesn’t matter what I do wrong.
With that said, I have a confession. I spent the night at a strip club the other night with several friends. I don’t know if I honestly think it’s a bad thing for me to be there if I’m not lusting over anyone (considering I wasn’t remotely turned on and am more than straight)…but I sure did have a large sense of guilt after having been there. So here I am, making a public confession.