James wrote about many aspects of the believer's life. He got very practical too, which is why it's such a great book to read over and over. But James also got to the point.
In chapter 4, James begins by reminding the believers that they need to submit themselves to God. And he emphasizes the fact that we are to really worry about ourselves, and not so much what everyone else is doing. Why? Because each of us is going to give an account to God for our own deeds. Romans 14:12 says, "So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God."
As humans, it's always easy to point our finger and criticize someone else's action or inaction. We see this happen all the time in politics. It's a constant barrage of "they did this" or "they did that". Very often I wish politicians would just keep quiet and work like the rest of us. But, they don't. And much of the time, self-reflection is not something they try.
DO IT NOW
James went on in chapter 4 to talk about the why. He knew he had to get to the point of why we need to submit to God, and why we needed to stop playing judge and jury for other people's lives.
Here's what he said at the end of the chapter:
What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14b)
The reason we need to do these things now, is because Life. Is. Short.
No one is guaranteed tomorrow. The tragic events of this past week in Uvalde, TX have shown us a very real and sobering picture of that very truth. And the sooner we remember that we have a short time, the better off we will be.
I am a procrastinator. Sometimes it pays off, but most of the time, I'm wishing I had started my task/project sooner.
James followed up the verse about the brevity of life with this...
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them.
Combine these two verses and you get something like this - "Before you know it, you're life will be over. So do what is right, now, while you have time."
What are you putting off? Have you been procrastinating on something you know is right to do because you think you'll have time later? Take James' advice, don't wait. Do what you know is right. Do it now.
Tell your kids and your spouse you love them every day
Do right by your employer
Have that spiritual conversation with your friend
Invite that neighbor over for dinner
Call that sibling you haven't talked to in forever
Make things right with the person you hurt or who hurt you
Break the addiction that has been plaguing you for years
Humble yourself before God
If I didn't put it on this list, and you know it's the right thing to do, then do it. Don't wait. Start today.
Heavenly Father, my heart breaks when I hear of life tragically taken at such a young age. But your Word reminds me that life is short and that there are no guarantees for tomorrow. Help me to do what I know is right, today. I don't want to wait until it is too late. I ask these things in Jesus' name, amen!