[James speaking] "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God."
Thoughts for Today:A few Sundays ago after church, my wife, daughter and I went to a restaurant for a late breakfast. After we sat down and ordered our food, my wife Sherry proceeded to tell me that Amanda had not been the picture of obedience over the last week. It seemed that our daughter had become a little sassy (her mother's term). Rather than reading or cleaning her room when she was told, instead she had been somewhat argumentative and resistant. For those of you who know my daughter you know this is not typical behavior. After some discussion (including Scripture and prayer), we all agreed that the only right answer would be, "Yes mommy" when her mother asked her to do something.
Later that day as my wife and I talked about it further in private, I realized the problem wasn't as simple as a little defiance (which is pretty normal in raising children). What we were really dealing with was my lack of presence, involvement, and participation recently.
You see I have been wrestling for the past few weeks with a very significant business problem, and rather than resting in the Lord I have instead allowed myself to get caught up in worry. I don't know about you, but when I'm worried about a problem, playing with my daughter is not at the top of my list. It is interesting when after receiving this revelation and returning to my normal roles of husband, father and friend, how quickly Amanda returned to her normal obedient and happy self. When I decided to let God be God and once again do the job God gave me do (worry was not part of the job description), everything went back to normal.
When I read our passage today, my cheeks flushed a little bit because I heard James say to me personally, "Your behavior is making it difficult for Amanda to be obedient." It's sometimes difficult to realize and admit that our behavior might be the source of another's problem.
Questions to Ponder:Do you know someone who is "turning to God" (even if it is ever so slightly)? Have you erected a false barrier (like the Jews and their requirement for circumcision) that is making the turn difficult? Have you considered that your behavior might be the problem? Take a long hard look at yourself, what is God telling you that needs to change right now to improve your witness? Do you need to stop worrying, model your faith in action not just words, and truly let God be God?