The phrase “mind the gap” is used as a warning in railroad and subway stations to remind travelers to watch out for the gap between the platform and train. If there is a misstep, one could easily fall into the gap and consequently hit by a train. The warning seems pointless considering the danger is obvious, however, it’s written out because people have been seriously injured and killed in that gap.
James reminds us of another gap we need to pay attention to. It’s the gap between the word of God and how we as Christians choose to live it out. James, Jesus’ half-brother, spent quite a bit of time with Him and saw what living a Spirit-filled life looked like. We might think early Christians had an easier time living a life pleasing to God, but the book of James tells us they most likely lived in a world much like ours.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:19-21).
James tells us moral filth and evil was widespread in that day, and the only thing that could save them was living a life rooted in God’s word. He also warns against allowing our anger to hurt others. It’s a glaring reminder not to let the gap between God’s word and our will become so wide that we fall. The best way to do this is to intentionally spend time in God’s presence and in His word each day. As James 1:22 says, “But be does of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”