James 4:6 In-depth study

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6

Dictionary.com defines pride as a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing conduct.

God opposes the proud because it goes against everything that He is.

Pride makes us think highly of ourselves.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3

Pride makes us to overestimate ourselves. We can overestimate our abilities. We can overestimate our strengths. But we are told we are to estimate ourselves soberly, and according to the faith that God has assigned each of us.

Pride makes us exalt ourselves.

Jesus gave a parable when he noticed how they chose the places of honor. Saying to them, when you’re invited to a feast do not sit down in a place of honor. Lest he who invited you comes and asks you to give your place to one more distinguished. And you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when invited take the lowest place, so that the host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’. Then you’ll be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 14:7-11

They were invited to a feast and hustled over the places of honor. They didn’t wait for the host to give it to them. Jesus is teaching us to live lowly and wait to be exalted, but when we exalt ourselves chances are we’ll be humbled.

Pride makes us commend ourselves.

Rather, let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” 2 Corinthians 10:17-18

Pride makes us to self-promote ourselves. But Paul reminds us that we cannot approve ourselves. Promotion and approval comes from by God.

Pride goes before destruction.

When we choose to walk in pride, we invite destruction. Destruction comes easy to a man full of pride because he cannot see where he is going. Pride blinds him from seeing the trouble ahead. When we walk in pride God allows destruction to come to us. He cannot lead us when we think we know better than we do. He opposes us to show us we are going in the wrong direction.

Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty. Proverbs 18:12

But he gives grace to the humble.

Humility is defined as the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.

Therefore, humility considers other better than self.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3

We are naturally wired to prefer ourselves above others. Considering others isn’t something that will come to us first. However, the same way we have a tendency to consider ourselves first, we are to consider others first. This is where the grace of God comes in. Pride makes us have a self-above-others attitude.But humility enables us to put others above ourselves. When we are humble we are able to look to the interests of others and not just ours.

Humility doesn’t lift itself up it waits to be lifted.

Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time he may exalt you.1 Peter 5:6

Humility waits on God’s proper time to be exalted. It submits to God’s timing. It doesn’t run ahead of God looking for opportunities to be exalted. It is set on this, either God will exalt me or I will remain here.

Before honor is humility. Proverbs 18:12 Humility has to precede honor. We have to walk in humility for honor to come.

Humility looks to serve others.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-10

Jesus is our example of humility. Even though he was God, he humbled himself and became a servant for our sake. He humbled himself and took the form of man to pay the price for man, and he chooses a very humiliating death-death on a cross. When we see the humility of Jesus it’s easy to forget ourselves and serve others.

In God’s kingdom, when God exalts us we humble ourselves, and we become the servant of others.

He asked them what were you discussing on the way? But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat them down and said to them, “ If anyone would be first, he must be the last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:33-35

Sounds upside down but it’s God’s way. If He exalts us, He makes sure we are humble enough to be the least and to do what others won’t do. He makes sure we become servants of others. Servants who will not look for opportunities to be served. Greatness in the kingdom is measured by our willingness to serve others.

When we choose humility He makes grace available for us.

Humility allows God to lead and guide us.

He leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble his way. Psalm 25:9

It requires humility to follow God. God will not lead us if we are prideful but when we humble ourselves and accept we need help he is able to offer us help. The grace to know what is right and where to go comes to us when we humble ourselves before Him.

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