Choice 3: James 3–4. Living Our Religion
As with my last point, these are the prompts given by my professor, but you’re welcome to go through them as well and gain insights for yourselves.
The transforming power of the gospel can increase the happiness that we can gain during this life. Happiness is directly related with the way that we treat others, and we must first make sure that we are in the right mindset so that we can serve others. We aren’t going to serve someone if we are grouchy or if we don’t see any importance in the other person. We won’t see any importance in them if we are prideful, and we get rid of this pride through the actions listed on the left from James 4. We can all work on this. So pick something on the left that you think you could do better with (be patient), and apply something to it from the right. I also have experienced that it is easier to track your progression in a journal, so you could try and track your progression in this weakness. Good luck!
- Read James 1:19; 3:1–13; 4:11; and the institute student manual commentary for James 3:8, “The Importance of Taming the Tongue” (p. 410). Using these resources, make two lists:
|Things We Say That Are Offensive to God||Things We Say That Are Pleasing to God|
|We can be disrespectful to our spouses, children, and family. We are especially offensive to God when we sustain anger, when we use these emotions to force others, and when we intentionally confuse others. I would also add that we are more hypocritical when we use rude or offensive language, and then try to step up to a holy platform and use empty words in sacred arenas.||We please God when we uplift others. We please Him by being honest and truthful with Him and others. It also makes a huge point of it in the scriptures to proclaim Him, meaning to let others know of His existence. I’m positive He is pleased when we search for opportunities to proclaim His word and to help others. Worthy words are pleasing to God.|
- Referring to the following chart, read James 4:1–4 and identify four symptoms of people who are friends of the world. Read James 4:7–12 and write a prescription that would help people overcome the “world.” Write your responses in the appropriate column:
|Symptoms of Being in the World (James 4:1-4)||Prescription for Being out of the World (James 4:7-12|
|Wars and contentions are evident or desired among you. Lust, killings, murderous thoughts, desire to have things that you cannot have, ye have not because ye ask not. When you ask, you don’t ask correctly. You ask in your lust so that you can have gain. You are a friend of the world and feel comfortable among the evils presented there.||Submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil. Draw night to God, he will draw night to you. Repent, be kind. Purify your hearts. Don’t be double minded. Live truthfully. Be honest in your dealings. Be afflicted. Recognize your transgressions. Turn your joy to heaviness. Speak not evil one of another. Recognize the all-powerful God as the one and only Lawgiver.|