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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Credit or Debit?

Ok, I am just going to be blunt:
James has never been one of my favorite men in the Bible.  Not because of anything he did per se, but more because of the fact that the chapters he penned in the Bible are the most convicting to my heart.

Pointed.  Straight to the point. No ifs, ands or buts.  My eyes roll without aid any time I am directed to that book. 

I don't mean to...it just happens.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds..."

Do you see why my eyes begin to move around at the mention of this book.  This is his opening line...his selling point...his "get the reader now or you will lose them" statement.  And rather than using flowery terms of endearment to capture the hearts of his brothers and sisters, he goes straight for the kill: "When problems come up...when tragedy strikes...when you think you can't take even another breath without crying...be of great joy!"  Ya....  No.

I am currently reading Elizabeth George's book Finding God's Path Through Your Trials.  I didn't like the book when my buddy would quote it in emails, texts and her blog...I like it even less now that she has passed it along to me to read.  But I know that my history shows that those things that I like the least often create the biggest changes because while my head hates the advice, my heart craves the closeness to my Maker...the kind that only comes from moving forward.

Mrs. George suggests that we think of trials in our lives as a bookkeeper would think of finances.  Everything that comes in is either a bill (a debit from the account) or it is an income (a credit to the account).  She goes over this verse found in first chapter of James and says that counting it all joy uses the same discipline.  Each and every individual difficulty must be put in our ledger...and there are only two options:  they go in as a sorrow (debit) or a joy (credit).  We lift them up to Him, even when they don't look or feel like joy, and we have to decide...do we trust His command given thru James?  Do we believe Him when He says that if we count it as joy, He will use the results of our trusting to perfect and mature us?  Is He honest?  Does He mean what He says?
I drew on one page of my journal to give myself a visual reminder that I have only two choices when the troubles come:
1 - Let it lift me up to His perspective
2 - Let it pull me down under the waves that crash around me.
I've been under the water...and as much as I don't like James, I HATE the feeling of liquid in my lungs.

Listening to Barlow Girls' Mirror while looking up as always...


Alicia said...

Hi Bina!

What wonderful post! Wow! Yes..James does get right to the point, doesn't he??? Especially when he talks about the tongue!!

I love Elizabeth George. I was blessed by being able to meet her 8 years ago when we lived in Hawaii. Her and her husband were there, and that's when I got her book about the Proverbs 31 woman!!

I'm so glad you stopped by my blog, and now I'm a follower of yours too!!

Oh..and I have five kids too!!

Karen said...

Ah, I've gulped my share of liquid, too. I'm swimming right now, but I have to relearn every time to rejoice for His lifeline. Thank you for reminding me to "have joy" in all.


Bina said...

Hello, Alicia, and welcome to the pad :) What a cool blessing to have met the George's! That would be awesome...but my friend's say I am embarrassing around "famous" people...and, well, having had a few run-ins (literally), I AM quite silly! ha ha "See" you around the blogs!

Ah, Karen...glad to know that I am not alone in my water gulping! Helps the recovery process to know that much! Thanks for coming by today...blessings back to you!

alicia said...

I read this shortly after reading my devotion this morning and it just ties in so well with you (as usual) that I wanted to share it with you: "Joy is not dependent on your circumstances. Some of the world's most miserable people are those whose circumstances seem the most enviable" And my friend, I will gladly tell you that that is not from the book of James, but Habakkuk 3:17-19.
Joy is most definitely a choice, much like peace. Thanks for your words today~

~*Michelle*~ said...

OUCH! This stepped on my toes.....or should I be saying that I am spitting out a mouthful of water myself.

this was awesome! I love the debit/credit reference. My husbands uses that same reference to making deposits into people's lives (giving) rather than always taking/wanting/needing.

anyway....you speak such TRUTH. Love it!


and PS. LOVE Barlow Girl...I saw them at Soulfest 08 and they are coming near me next month with Superchic[k]


Bina said...

Alicia ~ thank you for NOT quoting James, as I am not sure I could take it in my delicate state. ha! I have already made note of that verse in my journal as yet another reminder for my mind...altho, I will be honest about abbrev. that name cuz, ya...Bina Don't Spell Dat.
Hugs back to you!

Hello! :)
I can pass you my bucket for the excess water...I think I am done...for NOW. ha ha Glad you came by but can't believe you BRAGGED about seeing BarlowGirl!!!
hee hee hee
Hugs to you.

~ Bina ~


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