Read James 5:13-19
I counted five divine expectations in these last verses from James’ pen. They are five specific action steps we are to take if (and when) we find ourselves or others in five specific life situations. Which of these life situations have you found yourself in or been aware of with others? Has it been your pattern to take the corresponding action?
- Have you ever been in trouble? Who hasn’t! When you are, do you routinely pray about your circumstances? (13a)
- Have you ever been happy? I hope that this is a regular emotion for you! Do you let that overflow into songs that praise God? (13b)
- Here is one that I hope you haven’t experienced! Have you ever been very seriously sick? If so, did you call for church leaders to come, pray over, and anoint you? (14)
- Have you ever sinned? We all have! Do you admit that to others so that they can pray and that you might find healing? (16)
- Have you ever been aware of someone wandering from Christ? People like that are in our churches, families, and neighborhoods! When you encounter such people, do you take the initiative to point him/her back to Christ?
Most of us have experienced all of those situations…with the possible exception of #3. Meanwhile, most of us probably only take the actions described in #1 and #2…and that occasionally. We (often) pray to God when things are going bad and we (sometimes) thank Him when life is good. Meanwhile, we find it difficult to confess our own sin or to correct it in others. We struggle to let down our masks that portray all is well in our lives, and we hesitate to speak into the lives of others where their struggle is obvious.
Reaching such levels of vulnerability, accountability, and assuming such degrees of responsibility of others…all of that requires that we have relationships that are more than superficial. It requires that we know others…at least a few…at a deeper level. With these people, we are candid about ourselves and genuinely caring about them.
Do you have that kind of accountability with your family? With anyone? It is worth pursuing because the wins are real. I receive healing! And I save someone else from death.