Lesson 16

James can deliver some strong words to cut the heart.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?  But he gives us more grace.  That is why Scriptures says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (4:4-6 NIV)

At this point, please do not take these verses out of context and begin to think that having anything to do with the world in any way is wrong.  That is not what is being said.  You have to take the Bible as a whole.
Here it is saying that we need to look at where our heart is.  Do we desire earthly things over the riches that the Lord can give us.  Do we desire to conform to the world and the standards that it places on us?  Then we are choosing the world over God.  He asks us to stand apart and be in the world but not of it.  We have to live here.  We have to participate in many functions of it.  But we are not to have the world’s values and ethics instilled in our hearts where God’s values and ethics should really be.

Where does your heart lie?  What do you desire most: a new car, a promotion, new clothes, to be admired?  Or do you desire wisdom, self-control, patience, and love?  Where is your heart?