Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
“It wasn’t me!” I spent many years as a youth worker and have lost count of the number of times I heard this denial of responsibility (even though I might have watched them do it!) from a young person in my care. It’s not only young people who shift blame – adults are just better at hiding it. I wonder if this was the way things were in the community James was writing to? Was he writing to people who were blaming God for not only the bad things that happened to them, but also the wrong things they were doing? It reads to me like someone being very patient with people who are wilfully misunderstanding their situation. Perhaps they were using “alternative facts” to cover up their wrongdoings – deceiving themselves into believing they were right? This passage leaves them in no doubt “do not be deceived” – stop kidding yourselves – only good stuff comes from God – God is not to blame! In these uncertain times this seems so appropriate – for those who would like to blame God, or use God as an excuse – look for the truth God gave you and we might just be the “firstfruits of all he created”
Lord, when we are tempted to shift the blame, when we are tempted to escape from our responsibilities, when we are looking for an easy way out – be our rock, be our strength, and help us face your truth regardless. Amen
Ann Honey is a Church Related Community Worker serving at Robert Stewart Memorial Chapel at Fenham in the Northern Synod.