In a recent study through the book of James, I was halted at verse one. We all too often skip over the introduction, but I was struck.
“James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: To the 12 tribes in the Dispersion. Greetings.” – James 1:1
James begins his letter by introducing himself as a slave. Paul and Peter do this as well in the beginning of some of the other New Testament letters. So, why did I stop here? Why did I not jump over this to get to the rest of the book? I was reminded that our master matters. We see James, in all humility, posturing himself as a slave, or servant, of God and of Jesus. Can we pause for a moment and consider who our master is? In word, perhaps we claim Jesus as master, but let us consider who or what masters us, in deed. With whom does our allegiance lie? Our master will dictate our deeds. Your deeds will be reflective of who you serve. Who or what is your master?
How is your posture before God? A servant or slave will find himself in a humble position, ready to serve and obey. Are you proud and hardened, or are you humble and submissive? The posture of our heart will spill over into all aspects of our life, and will soon show clearly who or what we serve. Our posture matters.
Recently, my husband was struggling with severe shoulder pain, unable to sleep in certain positions, do activities he used to, etc.. A visit to his doctor, and then physical therapist brought to light that his struggles stemmed from many years of poor posture. The good news is that this can be corrected with time, but it is a challenge and certainly requires more work now to unlearn the bad habits. All of these years, his posture mattered, and it eventually caught up to him. The same can be said of our posture before God. Our posture before God matters, and will eventually catch up to us. Years of pride and hardness, will yield pain and difficulty. It may require stretching, breaking old habits, being uncomfortable, etc.. Instead of relearning to bring our shoulders up and straight though, we may be relearning what it means to be on our knees and on our face before our King. Perhaps it is time for an examination.
So, I ask you two things today.
Who or what is your master?
How is your posture before God?
Your master and your posture both matter.