James is a refreshing book. Especially after finishing Hebrews! We go from a deep well with difficult truths to a great lake with a beach with treasures everywhere you look. Every verse is quotable, tweetable or just a good one to know.
I want to focus in on the "staining" that the world gives us. James begins with trials. He says that trials are not meant to stain us, rather they are intended to make us better. The difference is our perspective and how we respond to the trial.
Then he moves on to money. If you are stained by it, whether poor or rich, it will consume your life and thoughts. Being rich or poor are both trials, and God is looking for us to honor Him regardless of our financial state.
Next he moves to emotions. Particularly anger! It too is a trial that will either destroy or grow us. We should not be stained by difficult emotions and God's purposes are not accomplished as we yield to our emotions.
It is a challenge to care for widows and orphans. I believe it is an even greater challenge to "keep ourselves unstained" by the things of this world.
Work hard at cleaning up the stains.
Read it here.