Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


March 31, 2010

James' short letter is chock-full of relevant counsel for daily discipleship, right up until his very last words. Yet it prompts me to ask, "Why did he chose to end his letter with these last words?"

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring them back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the way of error will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
- James 5:19,20 TNIV

Ponder this: first, this passage speaks primarily to the person who will help the wandering-away-person. It invites us to help a sister or brother who needs to be rescued, redirected, restored back to Christ-centered living. Second, it emphasizes the importance of NOT washing our hands of this person, but instead of the necessity of doing such, but not the means to do it. So James urges us to this difficult and important task, but does not tell us how. Truth is, Christians are famous for not doing such well, instead we have been prone to a mean-spirit, and not graciously. Evidently we know how to be stern, and in your face, but we aren't so good at "kind" and "grace-filled."

This must be important, for James saves it for his last words. And I suspect it is important today, as well.

Dale Patterson