“For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” ~ James 3:2
Explanation of the Text: In yesterday’s devotion regarding teachers, we acknowledged that the likelihood of sin increases because the teacher is constantly speaking. James now goes into more detail regarding this topic. The first sentence of the verse uses the word ‘stumble.’ This word stumble is often used to denote a propensity to fall into sin. The idea is that there are a variety of ways in which a person falls into sin. In this statement, James acknowledges that every person sins in one manner or another. A point that we often see spread throughout the New Testament (i.e. Romans 3:23). Immediately following that statement, James indicates specifically that every person sins in what they say, for if they did not, they would be perfect. We know from Scripture (and probably from our own lives as well!) that there is no perfect person, except Jesus Christ.
Examination & Application of the Text: This verse calls attention to the fact that we are all sinners. This is a great fact that many of us don’t want to acknowledge. There are not any who meet the righteous standards of God. Therefore, each of us must be humble. It is a humble spirit that allows us to acknowledge our sin and confront it. Too often, we are full of pride, and that pride blocks the view of our own sin. Instead, if we are humble in acknowledging that we are sinners, we are more open for the need to conform to Christlikeness. The first step to examining one’s self in order to confess sin, is first being humble enough to acknowledge that you are indeed a sinner. Therefore, examine your humility today. Be truthful with yourself on how humble you really are, so that you may determine those areas of sin which must be given over to God. The goal is to be conformed to Christlikeness, by getting rid of the sin that offends God and instead putting on the new man that is Jesus Chris.