I have been reading and re-reading James. I have also been trying to do some gospel-counseling. Imagine with me if James were your counselor to whom you brought a weakness-sin-struggle. My gut tells me that his response would eventually lead to comfort, but it would start with acute pain! Check out this call to go straight into the bottom of the well and so find him who “gives more grace.”
“Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” – James 4:9-10
Love it. Sometimes my problem is that when I have sinned against my kids or Kori, or when I have pridefully not listened but talked incessantly, or when I have fallen prey to unproductive self-pleasing idleness – whenever I struggle with my inumerable weaknesses, I push them aside and just go on laughing and existing undeterred. What counsel James gives! I should rather run with naked abandon into the place where I am humbled by the honest disgust of my sin; or just the honest reality of the Fall in and around me!
SO, next time I come to you (my friends) with this pithy look on my face evidencing I am coasting and coexisting with issues of struggle – look me square in the eye and say – Jim, be wretched. Mourn. Weep. Don’t laugh. Don’t be happy. Try on some gloom. It’ll be the beautiful word of the hour because I might actually still my proud and casual heart into a place of humility – and there experience the glorious, gracious exaltation of a repentant sinner who experienced more grace once again. “But he gives more grace”(James 4:6).