We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

Week 9 - Day 5

Read James 5:7-12. Remember that you need to read the verses in context.

Some scholars attach v. 12 to the preceding paragraph (5:7-11), and others put it with the following paragraph. I am sure that you have noticed that James does jump around with his topics, and a verse often seems disconnected with what is around it. I put v. 12 in this lesson because in my opinion it connects better here.

1. Do you see anything that precedes or follows v. 12 that would connect it either way? If so, what?

2. James gives his readers basically one instruction here stated in both a positive and a negative way. Write it in your own words.

3. How do these verses parallel or clarify James’ instruction in v. 12?

      a. Mt. 5:33-37

      b. Mt. 23:16-22 (At this time there was popular Jewish teaching that if you swore by anything that did not directly name God, you weren’t bound by your oath.)

Some have taken James’ words to mean that Christians should not swear an oath, even in a court or other legal situation. Some see it as dealing with voluntary oaths only or those that are attempts to avoid being truthful. Certainly, if we followed James’ instructions, no one would have to question the truth of our statements because everything we said would be true and we would be faithful to it. I see this topic to be very “blue jean.” It is so very practical!

Stronger Jeans (optional): Study other biblical references to oaths. Use a concordance, etc. What do you learn?

4. Sharing Question: Has someone ever made you a promise or at least by their words, agreed to something, and then reneged on it? How did that feel? If they didn’t swear to it, why did it bother you?

5. Responding to God: Consider whether you have been guilty of breaking your word to anyone. Have you said that you would do something and failed to follow through? Have you called in sick for work when you were well, instead of following the terms you agreed to when you took the job? Have you agreed to take on a responsibility of any kind, and then not done it at all, backed out, or done a poor job? Ask God to show you any such failure on your part. Although God forgives you totally, He asks you to repent and turn away from actions that do not reflect His character, and He is totally faithful! Write your thoughts below.


Twisting His Arm said...

When I was younger, I would often make promises or plans knowing I would eventually break them later. I didn't want to be like this but I had the hardest time saying no especially when the other person used anger, manipulation or guilt. I finally realized that saying no upfront was much easier than breaking promises later on.

DA Wagners said...

I would also do that, Crissy. Except it happens to me when I want to take my life in my own hands. I don't pray about desicions, and I don't try to get God's approval. I wind up breaking a promise. I'm doing better at consulting God first, however. I think I may have learned my lesson!

Anonymous said...

This has often happened in the past...people would borrow things from me and would forget to return it or would return it damaged and without any apologies. It's a small thing but when people promise to return things and don't, it saddens me because it's a small thing to do but most people fail to do it. How much more on the big things in life.