The book of James is written to a bunch of Christians. James knew his audience was the Church (see James 1:1).
Keep that firmly in mind when you read these words from James 3:2—
We all stumble in many ways. (New International Version)
For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. (Amplified Bible)
Indeed, we all make many mistakes. (New Living Translation)
I hate to break the news to you, but that means:
- Your pastor’s not perfect
- Your church isn’t perfect
- You’re not perfect
You attend a church with people who stumble, and offend, and mess it up. Your pastor stumbles, and offends, and messes up. And so do you!
Isn’t that wonderful?! We all make mistakes! So we all need to give and receive the same forgiveness. We all need to extend grace to others and receive grace from others. You need to help others back up when they stumble, and you need to admit when you’ve stumbled, and let others help you get back up.
Abraham Kuyper wrote—
“Sin is a destroyer that creeps in everywhere. Therefore we must expect an imperfect church. In fact, we church members carry the sin of the world with us into the church, too often hiding it under a veil of spirituality. If the church were not the Bride of His Son, surely God would in holy wrath destroy not first of all the church, but rather first of all the wretched sin-ridden church.”
To these beautifully imperfect Christians, James concludes his teaching with these words:
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. … My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (James 5:16, 19-20)
Yeah, let’s be THAT kind of church!!
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