Be Quiet to the Glory of God
April 27, 2016 — James 1:26–27
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Allow me to step right up to the front of the line of being rebuked by Scripture today. I am guilty of worthless religion most of the time.
It is easy for me to open my big mouth in the name of… Oh I don’t know… Union with Christ or something along those lines, and completely steamroll other opinions because I feel so passionate about something. It is easy for me to get indigent when I see my brothers and sisters doing something that I disagree with, or think is counter to what Scripture lays out and I can go into full on rant mode.
The fact of the matter is that we are called to be slow to speak, and I am not. I am very quick to want to lend my opinion, because frankly, I think what I have to say is pretty dang important. Please forgive my rashness and immaturity in these moments. It is very easy for me to allow my fleshly desires of looking smart and intelligent, while also doing it in the name of love in unity to take over.
Our religion is one of peaceable, and yet radical living. We are not called to overthrow systems that are counter to what the gospel teaches us, rather, we are to be constantly in the culture, yet in such a way that is us not conforming to their patterns.
That is what it means to be unstained by the world, and I confess that I have the tomato sauce of the world stain my crisp white shirt on a regular basis. How then are we to live in a way that is in the world and not of it? I would argue that it is a quiet life that is focussed on love. As we go about our lives we aren’t supposed to try and change things, try to make the world a better place, try to make our lives more pleasing. Nope. Just be quiet, and love those who are most oppressed. That is true religion, and boy do I need to learn that.
I would love for my life to be devoted to bringing change to my culture of American Evangelicalism, but I have to submit myself to the fact that God does not call us to be little saviors, we are called to rest in the Savior. It is through living out the reality of life with Him that we discover that living the life of the believer often doesn’t look like we would expect. It is mysterious and other worldly.
The Christian life isn’t a victorious one. It is quiet and meek. It is persecuted and full of suffering. It is a weak man nailed to rugged planks of wood. His victory over the grave didn’t kick off the messianic rule that was expected, but rather a quiet, and peaceable kingdom of heaven here on earth. I want to live in that kingdom. And for that reason please forgive my rashness and noise, please help me to be more quiet.