Pedestal of Self
Verse 6 But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
We have spent a couple days talking about the jealousy of God and His desire to have our full attention. Today we take a slight turn in our discussion to address some other ways that James knew we needed to be strengthened to be the people God desires us to be.
Grace is something that we often limit to His work in our lives resulting in salvation but our verse today shows how much more there is to it. We like to think of favor from God as special blessings because He loves us so much but that actually is a thought that is far from the truth. It isn’t that He doesn’t love us, but He doesn’t love some of us more than others and therefore blesses some of us more than the others. To think that He loves us more than others is to think of His favor as a reward because of who we are and that reeks of pride.
Pride is one of those sins that Christians turn a blind eye to but God does not. He is very serious about this sin. In fact in the list given in Proverbs 6:16-19 of things that God hates, a prideful look is the first one listed. The truth about pride that we don’t like to admit to ourselves is that pride is a form of self-worship. Yeah, that struck a chord, didn’t it?
Pride creeps in when we least expect it. It isn’t that we don’t know that we have prideful thoughts. We have probably all had at least one thought this week rating ourselves higher at one thing or another than someone else. While some of those thoughts seem so harmless the truth is that if we don’t take action on such thoughts we will likely start believing them about ourselves.
James is reminding his readers that God wants us to be humble. That is the type of people that God calls us to be. Humility is something that isn’t heralded in society but it is sought after in the kingdom of God. To be humble people takes intentionality. It is a fight against our fleshly desire to be important and thought of as superior. It is purposefully thinking of the other person as we would hope they would think of us all the while knowing that God deserves our very first thought.
Making It Personal
How often do you think of your desires before you think of God’s desires? Do you think of yourself before other people? Why do you think about yourself?
Making It Personal Kids
Who is most important to you? Do you show others that Jesus is important to you? Do you show others that they are important to you?
Father, pride is a hard habit to break but we know it must be broken to be more like You. Help us see the truth about ourselves. In Jesus’ name, amen.