The theme of Chapter 2 == DO NOT JUDGE & FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD
How guilty am I of that in every single area of my life. I am still so bad about it and it's scary to think that I was 10 times worse when I was about a decade younger! God jerked me up and I was broken before Him. The GOOD NEWS, is that our God does not leave you broken. He puts you back together and when He does, you are better than you were! I have a long way to go.... But James 2: 13 says, For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
In my study notes it explains this verse even more clearly saying what you do to others will be done to you in the judgement, rewarded for good or punished for evil. I don't want to be a judgmental person. I pray daily that I can see every person that I am in contact through the eyes of Jesus!
First of all, let me say how thankful I am that I don't have to make that call. James is clear when he says that "faith without works is dead". James 2:26 says, "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead." We have been called to do "good" things, to help when we see a need. It often requires much sacrifice on our part, but God told us to do it. It is in my born nature to "do". Sometimes I "do" too much. I am not saying this to get compliments, because am I doing it for the right reasons? This chapter challenged me to think about that. Am I doing it because it's what Jesus wants me to do and I want to do His will, or for selfish reasons, or because I am too scared to say no. If I am really honest with myself, it is more the latter and that hurts my heart. Oh, how much more joyful and peaceful my life would be, if I could GIVE in the spirit of JESUS all the time...because I love Him and want this world to know HIM. I KNOW that if I did better in that area then my judging would be better, too! Isn't that always the case!