When I was a boy growing up in the Bronx, I was very much in love with this girl who lived in my aunt’s building. She was very beautiful…but she didn’t want anything to do with me. After several attempts of trying to date her, I gave up. The last time I saw her was before I went into the Navy. I growled at her, “You think you’re just too good for anybody.” She shook her head and cried and ran into her apartment. After a few years in the Navy I ran into her again. She walked right up to me and took my hand and asked me to walk with her. I thought I was about to die. Along the walk, we stopped. She looked into my eyes and told me the reason why she never dated me. Love, she said, is about wanting to be near someone more than you want to be with yourself, and allowing that someone to be near you. If you had been humble and not full of yourself, I would have gladly dated you. But there was no room for me…just you. How could I be with someone like that? She had a point and she was right.
God asks us to do the same. He wants us to be near Him, so He can be near us. But the truth of the matter is we get in the way. This verse is just part of a chapter that covers James’ argument that one must be humble to have the fullness of happiness God wants for us. Many of us pull away from Him, rather than grow closer to Him because we’re just full of ourselves and there’s no room for Him. Others pull away because when God starts getting close they think they have to give up their lives. The only thing we need give up is pride and selfishness. That’s it. The closer we draw to God the more we become sensitive to all the things Jesus did. And the truth is we can’t deal with that. But we need to. If we are to become as Christ than we have to empty ourselves and let God do His thing…LOVE. That’s it, love us. No strings, no gimmicks, no contracts…just love. He can’t force us. Just like no one forced Jesus to give up his life, for love of us. You’re probably thinking he was crazy; well love makes us do crazy things. Let God get close to you, I promise…it doesn’t hurt.
Until next time…there are a lot of four letter words, but only one that can change the world…luv ya! - Deacon Phil