By Earl E. Robertson
James says, “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.” (James 1:5)
God is the giver of all things (James 1: 17), and lie must be so recognized by his servants. The child of God who cannot feel this dependency upon God is sorely lacking. He cannot go far in the spiritual life. Like the trusting child, who realizes his limitations and wants, goes to his own parents with petitions with confidence and without embarrassment, Gods children, too, are to come boldly to the throne of God for gifts. (Heb. 4: 15,16).
James says that God gives “Liberally,” and “upbraideth” not. Jesus had taught this beforehand (Matt. 7:7). The term translated “liberally” in the King James Version is from aplos, and is defined “simply, openly, frankly, sincerely” (Thayer, p. 57). This lexicographer further said parenthetically, “Led solely by his desire to bless: All who have scripturally tried him know this to be true to the fullest! Yet, the great point of emphasis is, the beggar may ask with confidence of receiving and know that God Will not upbraid, i.e., he will not remind you later on of what he has done for you. This genitive singular participle is present active, meaning the word carries continuous action. The Lord does not reproach or disgrace us over and over by reminding us of the blessing he gave. This word is used in the New Testament about sixteen times in various forms. Other English words which translate this Greek word are: revile,” Matt. 27: 44; “suffer reproach, 1 Tim. 4: 10. These usages help us to see the import of the word in James 1:5.”
This is a good lesson for all Christians to learn. When we have had the opportunity to help others along the way, do not use this against any of them later. And, too, when the Lord forgives us, he remembers that sin “no more” Heb. 8:12). When we forgive brethren their trespasses, let us too remember them no more.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XVII: 13, p. 2
February 1, 1973