Read James 1-5
In his brother's Shadow
For many of us, growing up meant living in the shadow of an ultra-achieving other sibling. He or she may have gotten all the attention and all the praise, while we felt left out in the cold. Anger and resentment may have built up against our older brother or sister, as well as a feeling of inadequacy in light of his or her accomplishments.
The writer of the book of James very likely found himself in just this position. As it turns out, James i=s a younger half-brother of Jesus. We can only imagine what it must have been lie to grow up in the shadow of someone our parents knew to be God in the flesh! Even as an adult, James remained in the background while Jesus taught, performed miracles and changed people's lives.
Yet as we read this short letter, it seems clear that Jame's has come to terms with his big brother. He could have tried to capitalize on his close connection with Jesus--perhaps to draw a little more of the attention he didn't get earlier, or at the very least to lend a little more divine credibility to his letter. But instead he humbly described himself as nothing more than a " servant" of Jesus. He had realized that being the half-brother of Jesus meant nothing-only being his servant counted.
In the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous, the group's founders said that to enter recovery, they "had to quit playing God" ( p.62). We must all humbly admit that our life and our recovery will go nowhere unless we allow ourselves to become a simple servant of Jesus--like James did.
Steps 3, 7
Jesus, please give me the same practical wisdom and humility that you gave to your younger brother James.
Recovery Devotional Bible