James 2-3

Sunday Evening Bible Study

February 25, 2001


James, the half brother of Jesus has written a letter to the church at large, aimed at the Jewish believers scattered throughout the world.

We’re going to look at four different topics tonight:

1)  Partiality

2)  Faith and works

3)  The tongue

4)  Godly wisdom

James 2

:1-13  Partiality

:1  My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

respect of persons prosopolepsia (“face” + “receive”) – respect of persons; partiality; the fault of one who when called on to give judgment has respect of the outward circumstances of man and not to their intrinsic merits, and so prefers, as the more worthy, one who is rich, high born, or powerful, to another who does not have these qualities

We call this the sin of “partiality”.

haveecho – to have, i.e. to hold; to have i.e. own, possess

faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

assemblysunagoge – a bringing together, gathering (as of fruits), a contracting; in the NT, an assembling together of men, an assembly of men; a synagogue

gold ringchrusodaktulios – gold ringed, adorned with gold rings

apparelesthes – clothing, raiment, apparel

goodlylampros – shining; brilliant; clear, transparent; splendid, magnificent; splendid things i.e. luxuries or elegancies in dress or style

poorptochos – reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms; destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour; lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches

vilerhuparos – to be dirty, grow filthy; metaph. to be defiled with iniquity

raimentesthes – clothing, raiment, apparel

:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

have respectepiblepo – to turn the eyes upon, to look upon, gaze upon; to look up to, regard; to have regard for, to regard

wearethphoreo – to bear constantly, wear; of clothing, garments, armour

clothingesthes – clothing, raiment, apparel.  It’s kind of funny, but the King James translators within two verses have translated this one word as “apparel”, “raiment”, and now “clothing”.

gay lampros – shining; brilliant; clear, transparent; splendid, magnificent; splendid things i.e. luxuries or elegancies in dress or style.  This is the same word translated “goodly” in verse 2.

good placekalos – beautifully, finely, excellently, well; in a good place, comfortable

standhistemi – to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set

footstoolhupopodion (“under” + “feet”) – a footstool; to make one a footstool of one’s feet, i.e. to subject, to reduce under one’s power; metaph. taken from the practice of conquerors who placed their feet on the necks of their conquered enemies

:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

partialdiakrino – to separate, make a distinction, discriminate, to prefer; to learn by discrimination, to try, decide; to determine, give judgment, decide a dispute

judgeskrites – one who passes or arrogates to himself, judgment on anything

thoughtsdialogismos – the thinking of a man deliberating with himself; a thought, inward reasoning; purpose, design; a deliberating, questioning about what is true; hesitation, doubting; disputing, arguing

evilponeros – full of labours, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition; in a physical sense: diseased or blind; in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

hearkenakouo – to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf; to hear; to perceive by the ear what is announced in one’s presence; to comprehend, to understand

belovedagapetos – beloved, esteemed, dear, favourite, worthy of love

choseneklegomai – to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one’s self

richplousios – wealthy, abounding in material resources; metaph. abounding, abundantly supplied; abounding (rich) in Christian virtues and eternal possessions

heirskleronomos – one who receives by lot, an heir; an heir


God loves poor people.

1Sa 2:8  He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set [them] among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth [are] the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.
Ps 35:10  All my bones shall say, LORD, who [is] like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
(Psa 68:4-5 KJV)  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. {5} A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
Ps 72:12  For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and [him] that hath no helper.
(Luke 16:19-31 KJV)  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: {20} And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, {21} And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. {22} And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; {23} And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. {24} And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. {25} But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. {26} And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. {27} Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: {28} For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. {29} Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. {30} And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. {31} And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
It seems that it’s a lot easier for poor and needy person to come to the Lord because they are so much more aware of how much they need him.  On the other hand, a wealthy person has a great hurdle to overcome, the fact that they have this sense that they don’t need anything.

:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

despisedatimazo – to dishonour, insult, treat with contempt; whether in word, deed or thought

oppresskatadunasteuo – to exercise harsh control over one, to use one’s power against one; to oppress one

drawhelkuo – to draw, drag off; metaph., to draw by inward power, lead, impel

judgment seatskriterion – the instrument or means of trying or judging anything; the place where judgment is given

:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

blasphemeblasphemeo – to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme; to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at

worthykalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

calledepikaleomai – to put a name upon, to surname; to be named after someone

Note:  Not all rich people are like this.

:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

fulfilteleo – to bring to a close, to finish, to end; to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.)

thou shalt loveagapao – of persons; to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly

neighborplesion – a neighbour; a friend

wellkalos – beautifully, finely, excellently, well

(Lev 19:18 KJV)  Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

respect to personsprosopolepteo – to respect the person (i.e. the external condition of man); to have respect of persons, discriminate

commitergazomai – to work, labour, do work; to trade, to make gains by trading, "do business"; to do, work out

convincedelegcho – to convict, refute, confute; generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted; by conviction to bring to the light, to expose; to find fault with, correct

transgressorsparabates – a transgressor; a lawbreaker


Don’t show partiality

This is something that dates back to the Old Testament:
Le 19:15  Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: [but] in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
De 1:17  Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; [but] ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I will hear it.
God wants us to treat people equally and fairly.
John Barrier didn't like the way a bank manager in Spokane, WA, looked at him -- like he'd "crawled out from under a rock" because of his dirty construction clothes.  So Barrier, who just wanted a parking slip validated, took his money and left -- $1 million at the time.  It began when Barrier, 59, went to Old National Bank to cash a $100 check.  When he tried to validate the slip to save 60 cents, a receptionist refused, saying he hadn't conducted a transaction.  "She said you have to make a deposit," he says.  "I told her I'm considered a substantial depositor and she looked at me like... well."  He asked to see the manager, who also refused to stamp the ticket.  Barrier went to bank headquarters vowing to withdraw his $2 million plus unless the manager apologized.  No call came.  "So the next day I went over and the first amount I took out was $1 million."  "But if you have $100 in a bank or $1 million," he says, "I think they owe you the courtesy of stamping your parking ticket."

-- Elisa Tinsley, USA Today

:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

keeptereo – to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard; metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is

offendptaio – to cause one to stumble or fall; to stumble; to err, make a mistake, to sin; to fall into misery, become wretched

guiltyenochos – bound, under obligation, subject to, liable; in a forensic sense, denoting the connection of a person either with his crime, or with the penalty or trial, or with that against whom or which he has offended; guilty, worthy of punishment;


It only takes one sin.

All it takes is one sin to make you guilty.  It’s not a matter of having more sins than good works.

:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

commit adulterymoicheuo – to commit adultery

killphoneuo – to kill, slay, murder; to commit murder

transgressorparabates – a transgressor; a lawbreaker

:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

speaklaleo – to utter a voice or emit a sound; to speak; to use words in order to declare one’s mind and disclose one’s thoughts

dopoieo – to make; to do

libertyeleutheria – liberty to do or to omit things having no relationship to salvation; fancied liberty; true liberty is living as we should not as we please

shall bemello – to be about; to be on the point of doing or suffering something; to intend, have in mind, think to

judgedkrino – to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose; to judge; to be judged, i.e. summoned to trial that one’s case may be examined and judgment passed upon it

:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

judgmentkrisis – a separating, sundering, separation; judgment

without mercyanileos (“without” + “mercy”) – without mercy, merciless

showedpoieo – to make; to do

rejoiceth against katakauchaomai – to glory against, to exult over, to boast one’s self to the injury (of a person or thing). 

Picture Rocky in the boxing ring at the end of the fight, his opponent lying on the floor of the boxing ring, and Rocky jumping around the ring with his fists in the air as the victor.

When it comes to our relationship with God, the idea is that your opponent in the ring is God’s judgment.  And the truth is, you deserve God’s judgment.  The only way you’re going to come out of the fight alive is to allow Mercy to come up and fight for you.  Mercy is the only fighter that can win over Judgment.


Be merciful

Jesus said,
(Mat 5:7 KJV)  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

If you want to receive God’s mercy, then show mercy to others.

If we refuse to be merciful to others, then we will face the same treatment by God.
An example of this:

(Mat 18:21-35 KJV)  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? {22} Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. {23} Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. {24} And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. {25} But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. {26} The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. {27} Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. {28} But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. {29} And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. {30} And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. {31} So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. {32} Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: {33} Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? {34} And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. {35} So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

God wants to be merciful to us.  We must learn to be merciful to others as well.

What would it be like if God treated you exactly the way you treat others?  Would you get the red carpet treatment or would you find yourself in trouble?

I know I desperately need God’s mercy.  I want to be merciful to others.

:14-26  Faith and works

:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

profitophelos – advantage, profit

faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

worksergon – business, employment, that which any one is occupied; any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind; an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

candunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; to be able to do something; to be capable, strong and powerful

savesozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

What James is going to be dealing with is “good” faith versus “bad” faith.

The issue isn’t that you are saved by works.  We are saved by faith.

Jesus Christ died on a cross to pay for our sins.  He has offered to us God’s forgiveness and freedom from judgment if we will receive it by faith.

But how do you know if you have the right kind of faith?

There is a genuine faith and a fake faith.
You can tell the genuine faith from the fake faith by the kinds of things that a person does, their “works”.

:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

nakedgumnos – properly; unclad, without clothing, the naked body; ill clad

destituteleipo – to leave, leave behind, forsake, to be left behind; to lag, be inferior; to be destitute of, to lack; to be wanting, to fail

dailyephemeros – lasting for a day; daily

foodtrophe – food, nourishment

:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

departhupago – to lead under, bring under; to withdraw one’s self, to go away, depart

peaceeirene – a state of national tranquillity; peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord; security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

be ye warmedthermaino – to make warm, to heat; to warm one’s self

filledchortazo – to feed with herbs, grass, hay, to fill, satisfy with food, to fatten; to fill or satisfy men; to fulfil or satisfy the desire of any one

needfulepitedeios – fit, suitable, convenient, advantageous; needful, esp. of the necessities of life

bodysoma – the body both of men or animals

profitophelos – advantage, profit

James now gives us a concrete example of how genuine faith will display itself with good works.


Real faith helps others

You see this in the parable of the sheep and the goats.  Jesus will one day separate all those who are genuinely saved from those who aren’t.  Yes, those who are saved have faith.  They believe in Jesus.  But their genuine faith will have displayed itself by doing good works.
(Mat 25:31-46 KJV)  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: {32} And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: {33} And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. {34} Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: {35} For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: {36} Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. {37} Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? {38} When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? {39} Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? {40} And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. {41} Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: {42} For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: {43} I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. {44} Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? {45} Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. {46} And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


Do I help everybody?

We face an interesting problem in the American church.  We live in an incredibly prosperous society.  We also live in a society where there are plenty of people who know that they can hit Christians up for a fast buck.  If you hesitate, they know just how to lay on the guilt trip, telling you that they thought that Christians were supposed to help the poor.  I had a guy that we helped a few times tell me this last Christmas when I refused to help him anymore, that it was just like Jesus’ parents not finding any room in the inn.
Here’s the balance to helping people in need:
1)  James refers to the “brother or sister”.  He’s talking about fellow Christians within the church.  These are people that you know.  I think we need to be a little cautious about people who meet us for the first time and expect to get a few bucks off of us.
2)  Paul said,

(2 Th 3:6-12 KJV)  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. {7} For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; {8} Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: {9} Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. {10} For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. {11} For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. {12} Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Especially in our American society, I think that we need to remind people of this.  I’ve run into people who say that they are travelling around the country for God, and ask me for a hand out.  But look at the apostle Paul, if he was running low on funds, he worked at his day job, making tents.

It’s one thing if a person is out of work and has been diligently pursuing a new job.  But if a person will not put any serious effort into finding a job, and has no intent on working, then we should not be helping them. 

:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

deadnekros – properly; one that has breathed his last, lifeless; deceased, departed, one whose soul is in heaven or hell; destitute of life, without life, inanimate; destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative

There is such a thing as a genuine faith.  There is also a false faith.

If a person’s faith has no accompanying good works, then their faith is not genuine.

Some of the good works that true faith will produce involve the changes in our life that take us away from sinful behavior.

Paul said,

(Gal 5:19-21 KJV)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, {20} Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, {21} Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
If a person is claiming to be a Christian, yet their life continues to be filled with and characterized by these things, then I think that person ought to question whether or not their faith is genuine.

:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

show medeiknuo – to show, expose to the eyes; metaph. to give evidence or proof of a thing; to show by words or teach

withoutchoris – separate, apart; without any; besides.  This word is not in the TR (ek is used instead), but is in WH.

James is clearly talking about the issue of faith.  Even the one with “works” here still has faith (“I will show thee my faith by my works”).

We’re not talking about a person who is not trusting in the Lord and who is trying to earn their salvation through good works. 

James is not talking about works as a way to salvation.  He is talking about works as a proof of faith.

:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

devilsdaimonion – deity, divinity; a spirit, a being inferior to God, superior to men; evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil

tremblephrisso – to bristle, stiffen stand up; to shudder, to be struck with extreme fear, to be horrified

I believe James is referring to the great creed of Judaism, known as the sh’ma, the great declaration of One God:

(Deu 6:4 KJV)  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

James is saying that it’s good that his readers (who are Jews) believe in this, but in reality, even the demons believe this.  It’s not like this is some incredible thing to believe.

:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

wilt thouthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

vainkenos – empty, vain, devoid of truth


Do you want to know the truth?

That seems to be the challenge here.
Sometimes the thing that holds us back the most in growing in the Lord is that we really don’t want to know the truth.  We don’t want to hear things that make us uncomfortable.

:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

justifieddikaioo – to render righteous or such he ought to be; to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered; to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

he had offeredanaphero – to carry or bring up, to lead up; to put upon the altar, to bring to the altar, to offer

altarthusiasterion – the altar for slaying and burning of victims used of

James is referring to the story in Genesis 22, where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac:

(Gen 22:9-18 KJV)  And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. {10} And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. {11} And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. {12} And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. {13} And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. {14} And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. {15} And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, {16} And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: {17} That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; {18} And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Abraham’s faith in God was proven because he was willing to do the difficult thing of sacrificing his only son Isaac.  His faith was justified, and God knew that Abraham believed.

It’s interesting that James uses Abraham as the example of a person being justified by works because Paul uses Abraham as the example of being justified by faith:

(Rom 4:1-3 KJV)  What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? {2} For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. {3} For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

The real question in this passage is what James means by “justified”.  Paul uses this word too, to talk about how a person is justified before God.  But here, James is saying that a person’s faith is justified by their works.

In a sense, Paul is talking about being justified before God, and James is talking about how our faith is being justified before people.

:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

wrought withsunergeo – to work together, help in work, be partner in labour; to put forth power together with and thereby to assist

worksergon – business, employment, that which any one is occupied; that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking; any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind; an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

made perfectteleioo – to make perfect, complete; to carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end; to complete (perfect); add what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full

:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

fulfilledpleroo – to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full; to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally; to render full, i.e. to complete; to make complete in every particular, to render perfect; to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)

imputedlogizomai – to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over

friendphilos – friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well; a friend; an associate

When Jehoshaphat was surrounded by his enemies, he prayed for God’s help and said,

(2 Chr 20:7 KJV)  Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?

Long before Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac, God had made a promise:

(Gen 15:5-6 KJV)  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. {6} And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

It’s this that Paul picks up on to show us that the righteousness was put into Abraham’s account simply because he believed.  He was made right with God because of his belief.

It’s not until many years later that Isaac is born and even more years after that when God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  But how could Abraham sacrifice this son when this son was to be the one through whom God would give him offspring like the stars of heaven?

(Heb 11:17-19 KJV)  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. {18} Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: {19} Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Abraham offered up Isaac because of his faith.  He trusted that God was able to keep His promise to Abraham, even if it meant raising Isaac from the dead.
His act of sacrifice was the total demonstration of his trust in God.
His act of sacrifice was a kind of “fulfillment” of his trust in God.

:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Ye seehorao – to see with the eyes; to see with the mind, to perceive, know; to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience; to see, to look to

thentoinun (“certainly” + “now”) – therefore, then, accordingly

justifieddikaioo – to render righteous or such he ought to be; to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered; to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

onlymonos – alone (without a companion), forsaken, destitute of help, alone, only, merely

The works don’t save you, but they prove that your faith is real.

:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

likewisehomoios – likewise, equally, in the same way

harlotporne – a woman who sells her body for sexual uses

receivedhupodechomai – to receive as a guest

messengersaggelos – a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God

sent them outekballo – to cast out, drive out, to send out

Joshua 2 – Joshua sent two spies ahead to check out the city of Jericho.  The spies encountered this woman, Rahab, who took them in and hid them.  She had faith, she believed in their God:

(Josh 2:9 KJV)  And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

She demonstrated her faith by hiding the men and then misdirecting the people who were looking for them.
Her actions demonstrated her faith.
As a result, she and her family were allowed to survive Israel’s conquest of Jericho.  She became incorporated into the Jewish nation and was even in the line of King David, the line of the Messiah.  Which was also the same family line as James.

:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Biblically speaking, your body is dead when your spirit leaves it.  A body without a spirit is dead, is worthless.

So then is a person’s faith if it is not accompanied by works.  It is dead.  It is worthless.

James 3

:1-12  The Tongue

:1  My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

mastersdidaskalos – a teacher; in the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man

knowingeido – to see; to know; to know of anything; to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive

greatermegas – great

condemnationkrima – a decree, judgments; judgment; condemnation of wrong, the decision (whether severe or mild) which one passes on the faults of others

we shall receivelambano – to take; to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back.  The verb is a future indicative, this will definitely happen.


The spotlight is attractive but costly

There are some people who love to be the center of attention.  And being up in front of a group of people teaching is definitely being the center of attention.  To have people actually pay attention to what you say is being the center of attention.
But there’s a downside to being a teacher.
You become the one who is helping set the course for the lives of other people.
If you point them in the wrong direction, God is going to hold you responsible.

A couple of weeks ago a U.S. submarine, the Greeneville surfaced and ended up accidentally sinking a Japanese fishing boat, leaving nine people dead.  Now it looks as if the captain of the submarine may be court-martialed.  Why?  Because he gave the orders, he set the course, he takes the responsibility.

When you find yourself in a position where you are teaching others, giving them guidance, you better watch out and be careful that you are not giving them bad advice.  Speaking of advice …

Put A Sock In It

A young couple decided to wed. As the big day approached, they grew apprehensive. Each had a problem they had never before shared with anyone, not even each other.  The Groom-to-be, overcoming his fear, decided to ask his father for advice.  “Father,” he said, “I am deeply concerned about the success of my marriage.”  His father  replied, “Don’t you love this girl?”  “Oh yes, very much,” he said,” but you see, I have very smelly feet, and I’m afraid that my fiance will be put off by them.”  “No problem,” said dad, “all you have to do is wash your feet as often as possible,and always wear socks, even to bed.”  Well, to him this seemed a workable solution.  The bride-to-be, overcoming her fear, decided to take her problem up with her mom.” Mom,” she said, “When I wake up in the morning my breath is truly awful.”  “Honey,” her mother consoled, “everyone has bad breath in the morning.”  “No, you don’t understand,. My morning  breath is so bad, I’m afraid that my fiance will not want to sleep in the same room with me.”  Her mother said simply, “Try this. In the morning, get straight out of bed, and head for the kitchen and make breakfast.  While the family is busy eating, move on to the bathroom and brush your teeth. The key is, not to say a word until you’ve brushed your teeth.”  “I shouldn’t say good morning or anything?” the daughter asked.  “Not a word,” her mother affirmed.  “Well, it’s certainly worth a try,” she thought.  The loving couple were finally married. Not forgetting the advice each had received, he with his perpetual socks and she with her morning silence, they managed quite well. That is, until about six months later. Shortly before dawn one morning, the husband wakes with a start to find that one of his socks had come off. Fearful of the consequences, he frantically searches the bed. This, of course, wakes his bride and without thinking, she asks, “What on earth are you doing?”  “Good grief,” he replies, “you’ve swallowed my sock!”

:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

we offendptaio – to cause one to stumble or fall; to stumble; to err, make a mistake, to sin; to fall into misery, become wretched

all hapas – quite, all, the whole, all together, all

(James 3:2a NASB)  For we all stumble in many ways.

wordlogos – of speech; a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea

perfect teleios – brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect; that which is perfect; consummate human integrity and virtue; of men; full grown, adult, of full age, mature

abledunatos – able, powerful, mighty, strong

bridlechalinagogeo – to lead by a bridle, to guide; to bridle, hold in check, restrain

If you are able to control what you say, you can control anything.

:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

bitschalinos – a bridle

put … inballo – to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to put into, insert

obeypeitho – persuade; be persuaded; to listen to, obey, yield to, comply with

turn aboutmetago – to transfer, lead over; to direct

A horse’s entire body can be directed by a bit in its mouth.

:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

so greattelikoutos – of age; of so great a size, in bulk; such and so great

fierceskleros – hard, harsh, rough, stiff; of things: violent, rough, offensive, intolerable

windsanemos – wind, a violent agitation and stream of air; a very strong tempestuous wind

drivenelauno – to drive; of the wind driving ships or clouds; of sailors propelling a vessel by oars, to row; to be carried in a ship, to sail

turned aboutmetago – to transfer, lead over; to direct

a very smallelachistos – smallest least

helmpedalion – a ship’s rudder

listethhorme – a violent motion, impulse

listethboulomai – to will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded; of willing as an affection, to desire

governoreuthuno – to make straight, level, plain; to lead or guide straight, to keep straight or direct; of the steersman or helmsman of a ship; of a charioteer


There is great power in the tongue

Just as a little bit can control a powerful horse, and just as a little rudder can guide a huge ship, your tongue can be the thing that will guide other people, as well as yourself.
This is why you ought to be careful if you want to be a “teacher”.
The words you speak can have a great affect on people.  Sometimes it’s a good effect.  Sometimes it’s a bad effect.

(Prov 18:21 KJV)  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

If you learn to respect the words you use, you can bring great benefit.  But you can also bring great harm.

David wrote,
(Psa 141:3-4 KJV)  Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. {4} Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
Sometimes it’s best to just be quiet.
(Prov 10:19 KJV)  In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

littlemikros – small, little

membermelos – a member, limb: a member of the human body

boasteth great thingsmegalaucheo – to be grandiloquent; to boast great things, to bear one’s self loftily in speech or action

little (fire)oligos – little, small, few

how greathelikos – as old as, as tall as; how great

matterhule – a forest, a wood; felled wood, fuel

kindlethanapto – to light up, kindle

Forest fires can start with a little spark, yet consume an entire forest.



One of the ways a tongue is most like setting a forest on fire is with gossip.
We like to listen to gossip:
(Prov 18:8 NASB)  The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

There’s something “wonderful” in hearing about some new secret.  When you hear the words, “Did you hear about …” somehow our hears perk up and we want to hear about it.

Yet gossip is like a deadly fire, it can cause great damage:
(Prov 16:28 NLT)  A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
(Prov 26:20-26 NLT)  Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. {21} A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood. {22} What dainty morsels rumors are--but they sink deep into one's heart. {23} Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a common clay pot. {24} People with hate in their hearts may sound pleasant enough, but don't believe them. {25} Though they pretend to be kind, their hearts are full of all kinds of evil. {26} While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, it will finally come to light for all to see.
The best thing to do about gossip is to never start it.

The Gossiper

A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor.   Within a few days the whole community knew the story.  The  person it concerned was deeply hurt and offended.  Later the  woman responsible for spreading the rumor learned that it  was completely untrue.  She was very sorry and went to a  wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the   damage. “Go to the marketplace,” he said, “and purchase a  chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck  its feathers and drop them one by one along the road.”   Although surprised by this advice, the woman did what she   was told. The next day the wise man said, “Now go and collect all  those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to   me.” The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay,  the wind had blown the feathers all away.  After searching  for hours, she returned with only three in her hand. “You   see,” said the old sage, “it’s easy to drop them, but it’s  impossible to get them back. So it is with gossip.  It  doesn’t take much to spread a rumor, but once you do, you  can never completely undo the wrong.”

- Author Unknown; Submitted by Helen Hazinski from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul; Copyright 1997 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirberger

:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

worldkosmos – an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government; the world, the universe; any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort

iniquityadikia – injustice, of a judge; unrighteousness of heart and life; a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness

is … amongkathistemi – to set, place, put; to set one over a thing (in charge of it)

membersmelos – a member, limb: a member of the human body

defilethspiloo – to defile, spot

wholeholos – all, whole, completely

setteth on firephlogizo – to ignite, set on fire; to burn up; fig. to operate destructively, have a most pernicious power; of that in which the destructive influences are kindled

coursetrochos – a wheel

naturegenesis – source, origin; the wheel of life (#Jas 3:6), other explain it, the wheel of human origin which as soon as men are born begins to run, i.e. its course of life

hellgeenna – Hell is the place of the future punishment call "Gehenna" or "Gehenna of fire". This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:

is tameddamazo – to tame; curb, restrain

:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

candunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; to be able to do something; to be capable, strong and powerful

tamedamazo – to tame; curb, restrain

unrulyakataschetos (“not” + “held back”) – that can not be restrained

evilkakos – of a bad nature; not such as it ought to be; base, wrong, wicked; troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful

fullmestos – full

poisonios – poison (of animals); poison of asps is under their lips,; spoken of men given to reviling and calumniating and thereby injuring others; rust

deadlythanatephoros – death bringing, deadly


A bad tongue can do great damage

Warren Wiersbe writes,
“Some animals are poisonous, and some tongues spread poison. The deceptive thing about poison is that it works secretly and slowly, and then kills. How many times has some malicious person injected a bit of poison into the conversation, hoping it would spread and finally get to the person he or she wanted to hurt? As a pastor, I have seen poisonous tongues do great damage to individuals, families, classes, and entire churches. Would you turn hungry lions or angry snakes loose in your Sunday morning service? Of course not! But unruly tongues accomplish the same results.”

:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

bless weeulogeo – to praise, celebrate with praises; to invoke blessings; to ask God’s blessing on a thing

curse wekataraomai (“against” + “pray”) – to curse, doom, imprecate evil upon

similitudehomoiosis – a making like; likeness: after the likeness of God

:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

fountainpege – fountain, spring; a well fed by a spring

placeope – through which one can see, an opening, an aperture; of a window; of fissures in the earth; of caves in rocks or mountains, holes

send forthbruo – to abound, gush forth, teem with juices; to send forth abundantly, to teem

sweetglukus – sweet

bitterpikros – bitter; metaph. harsh, virulent

A fountain does not have both sweet and bitter water.  It has one or the other.

:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

candunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; to be able to do something; to be capable, strong and powerful

I’m not sure James’ purpose is to make us wonder how in the world we could curse and bless with the same mouth.  I think he’s trying to show what a goofed up thing our tongue is.  It doesn’t act proper.  It should be either blessing or cursing, yet we can find ourselves doing both.  Not that we ought to do that, but we do.

I think this is all the more reason why a person ought to think twice if they want to become a teacher.


It starts with the heart

You may be wondering how you could ever clean up your mouth if the tongue can not be tamed.
It all starts with the heart:
(Mat 12:34-35 KJV)  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. {35} A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

If you have lots of raw sewage coming out of your mouth, it’s because there’s a lot of junk down in your heart.

You need to let the Lord do a work in your heart, pouring out His mercy and kindness and washing you clean.

It also wouldn’t hurt to just be quiet a little more.


Twelve Words

Our words can bring trouble, but they can also bring healing as well.
(Prov 12:18 NASB)  There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Warren Wiersbe suggests we start using “Twelve words that can transform your life”
These words are:
“Thank you”
“I’m sorry”
“I love you”
“I’m praying for you”

:13-18  Godly wisdom

:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

wisesophos – wise

endued with knowledgeepistemon – intelligent, experienced, one having the knowledge of an expert

let him showdeiknuo – to show, expose to the eyes; metaph. to give evidence or proof of a thing; to show by words or teach

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

conversation anastrophe – manner of life, conduct, behaviour, deportment

worksergon – business, employment, that which any one is occupied; that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking; any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind; an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

meekness prautes – mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness

Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time. (#Isa 41:17, Lu 18:1-8) Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will. (#Ga 5:23)

wisdomsophia – wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters


Wisdom is shown in a humble life

James started his letter with teaching us to ask for wisdom:
(James 1:5 KJV)  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But just as there can be “good faith” and “bad faith”, there is also “good wisdom” and “bad wisdom”.
How do you know if you should pay attention to a person’s advice or not? 
They may appear to be fairly intelligent, but if their life doesn’t pass a couple of tests, then stay away from what they say.
Is this person “meek”?  Do they have a gentleness about them?

:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

envyingzelos – excitement of mind, ardour, fervour of spirit; zeal, ardour in embracing, pursuing, defending anything; an envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy

bitterpikros – bitter; metaph. harsh, virulent

strife eritheia – electioneering or intriguing for office; apparently, in the NT a courting distinction, a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts; partisanship, fractiousness; This word is found before NT times only in Aristotle where it denotes a self-seeking pursuit of political office by unfair means.

glorykatakauchaomai – to glory against, to exult over, to boast one’s self to the injury (of a person or thing)

liepseudomai – to lie, to speak deliberate falsehoods; to deceive one by a lie, to lie to


Don’t fool yourself

If you have envy, bitterness, or strife in your heart, you are not in a good place.
You may find yourself in a place of giving advice to others, but if you have this kind of junk in your heart, you can’t be trusted.

:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

descendethkaterchomai – to come down, go down

from aboveanothen – from above, from a higher place

earthlyepigeios – existing upon the earth, earthly, terrestrial

sensualpsuchikos – of or belonging to breath; the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetite and passion

devilishdaimoniodes – resembling or proceeding from an evil spirit, demon-like

You may be a smart person, but your wisdom isn’t from God.  It’s from the other place.

:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

envyingzelos – excitement of mind, ardour, fervour of spirit; an envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy

strifeeritheia – electioneering or intriguing for office; apparently, in the NT a courting distinction, a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts; partisanship, fractiousness; This word is found before NT times only in Aristotle where it denotes a self-seeking pursuit of political office by unfair means.

confusion akatastasia – instability, a state of disorder, disturbance, confusion

evilphaulos – easy, slight, ordinary, mean, worthless, of no account; ethically, bad, base, wicked

workpragma – that which has been done, a deed, an accomplished fact; what is done or being accomplished

:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

…pure… (untranslated word) - men - truly, certainly, surely, indeed

pure hagnos – exciting reverence, venerable, sacred; pure; pure from carnality, chaste, modest; pure from every fault, immaculate; clean

“the wisdom from above is first truly pure

peaceable eirenikos – relating to peace; peaceable, pacific, loving peace; bring peace with it, peaceful

gentle epieikes – seeming, suitable; equitable, fair, mild, gentle

easy to be entreated eupeithes (“well” + “persuaded”) – easily obeying, compliant

mercy eleos – mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them

goodagathos – of good constitution or nature; useful, salutary; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy; excellent, distinguished; upright, honourable

without partiality adiakritos – undistinguished, unintelligible; without dubiousness, ambiguity or uncertainty

without hypocrisy anupokritos – unfeigned, undisguised, sincere

:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

righteousnessdikaiosune – in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God; integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting

peaceeirene – a state of national tranquillity; peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord; security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

sownspeiro – to sow, scatter, seed

(James 3:18 NLT)  And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.


Check the source

When you are looking for advice, make sure you step back and look at the source you’re going to.
If this is a truly godly source, you’re going to see the things described in verses 17-18.  If it’s not a godly source, you’re going to get the stuff from verses 14-16.
Maybe you’re in the process of making a decision for yourself.
What kinds of things are going on in your heart?  Where are you getting your wisdom?
If your heart isn’t in a good place, then you ought to stop worrying about the decision before you and go back a step and take care of your heart first.