... notice how each diagnostic label simply takes what we already know and then restates it in quasi-medical-sounding language? The actual experiences of life-lived get turned into a depersonalized "condition." Problems get viewed exclusively as something a person "has," rather than the array of things a person feels, thinks and does.Then he turns to what the Bible has to say about our "life-living" problems:
It's curious. The labels don't actually add any information to what we already know. Yet they somehow alter the entire way we perceive a person. They even alter how people perceive themselves. The story and the struggle get lost in translation.
It's no surprise, then, that the Bible engages the varieties of chaos, confusion and trouble that mere humans experience. Our stories interweave with God's story at every point. God intends that we understand what exactly goes wrong — and how exactly he goes about making it right.
In his letter to people who know Jesus, James alerted us to something about personal and interpersonal chaos. Wherever you find "confusion and bad stuff" (James 3:16 paraphrase), you'll find two underlying problems. First, "bad zeal" wants the wrong things too much. Second, "selfish ambition" organizes life around all-about-Me.
James is unblinking about what's wrong, but he never gives the mess last say: "God gives more grace" (4:6). More than what? His goodness is more than all that goes wrong inside us. Confusion and bad stuff is exactly what he goes to work on.