That Pendulum Again (James 5)

A couple of days ago I mentioned how throughout church history Christians seem to swing back and forth to extremes on a lo of issues, when most often the truth is “both/and” or “somewhere inbetween.”

So right now I think we’re flying towards one of those dangerous extremes, and it’s this: Today what we hear about all the time is making people’s lives better here on earth. The church has to feed the hungry, put clean water in African villages, teach people how to be better parents, free girls trapped as sex slaves, save the planet. Is all of that true? Yes. Of course.

And it’s good that we aren’t solely focused on what happens after this life BUT we still need to be focused on what happens after this life. Seems to me that we’re not just adding a focus on what happens in this life, but losing some of our focus on what happens in the next.

Been thinking about that a lot, and today’s reading (James 5) has a verse that shouted it out to me. James 5:20, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” Helping people have better lives here and now is great, but when we get to there and later, we’ll realize that the next life is a lot bigger deal than this one.