FOR WEDNESDAY TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: James 1:1-15
“But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15; New Revised Standard Version)
Do you remember how the late Flip Wilson’s character Geraldine tried to excuse any of his wrongs by exclaiming: “The devil made me do it!” In the scriptures, the Letter of James notes the true source of our ill-fated actions as our “own desire.” In other words, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Author Robert Fulghum concedes that while the devil may have first made him do it, “after that I did it on my own.”
John Wesley concludes in his Notes: “We are therefore to look for the cause of every sin, IN, not OUT OF ourselves.” While there are often extenuating circumstances in our lives that might lure us into wrongdoing, the bottom line is OUR decision to nurture and give birth to OUR wrong desires. How much better our lives would be if we would just keep our hearts focused on God’s desire.
PRAYER: God, you know me completely. Forgive me for my tendency to blame others for the faults which I have allowed to take hold in my life. Open my heart to the righteousness of your Spirit each and every day. Amen.