This chapter contains many solid, practical lessons. They are tricky to tie together. So, let’s take them as they are:
Verses 6-7: Pride humiliates, but humility exalts. This lesson appears throughout the Bible. It is both implied and explained from cover to cover.
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
That portion of James 4:6 is repeated in two other places in the Bible. Rarely does a verse, or a portion of one, appear in three separate books of the Bible. This uncommon occurrence is a lesson in itself.
Verse 9: Face-to-face resolution that is respectful and confidential is most always best, and usually brings resolution.
Verse 10: Sharing your side of the story often brings shame. Sometimes it is best to just say nothing at all.
Verse 12: When wise correction/instruction finds an open and obedient ear, it is a thing of beauty and rarity.
Verse 14: Words without action are empty clouds and wind. Each of us knows a person who has a surplus of words and poverty of action.
Verse 15: Be patient, and be kind in order to make your point. Knowing when to move and when to wait is a great lesson for work.
Verse 17: Less is better; or, do not out stay your neighbor’s affection or attention. You want your neighbor to say, “why are you leaving so soon,” instead of ….
Verse 18: Lying about others is harmful in many ways, all bad. When one lies about another it hurts in different kinds of ways, all deep. Often unrepairable.
Verse 21-22: Be kind to the unkind. This one is tough to do, but God will honor your Christ-likeness and judge their ungodliness. We are not qualified to judge, only to serve. God doesn’t want us to serve as a Supreme Court, he wants us to be a community of servants.
Verse 28: Those who lack internal discipline live unprotected, and harm will arrive.
No fancy narrative today. Just good solid, uncooked truths, loaded with spiritual fiber and nutrients.