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November 18

James 1, 12-16

Something to read

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no-one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.
New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James Version, click here 

Something to think about

When things go badly wrong, it is easy to look for someone to blame. If no-one else can be found, the blame tends to get passed on to God. Even as Christians it is easy to find ourselves asking why God is making our lives so difficult.

And it can really seem that way – evil is so deceptive. Evil proceeds by a long process, and it can be hard to see back into where things really started, and therefore who is really to blame.

And for the great majority of human suffering, it is ourselves, the human race, who have brought these things on ourselves – not as individuals but as a race, as a species.

The key question is not who is to blame – finding someone else to blame (even God) simply drains any conviction that we might be the ones called to do something about it.

The key question is whether we are willing to be those who will break the cycle, bear the pain, start to live life by different principles – and begin to see the long chain-reaction of evil being rolled back.

Something to do

When you watch or listen to the news today, be aware when you are blaming people for the way they behave or for a situation that has arisen. Imagine what you might do in similar circumstances, and how positive outcomes could be achieved.

Something to pray

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. And through us, deliver many others from the deceptive and confusing chain-reaction of evil in our world today.

Today's contributor is JUST LIVING, a fresh expression of church in Devon devoted to the Christian pursuit of justice for the poor and closely linked to Christian Aid.

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