The Proud and the Humble

William C. Brownson

READ : James 4:6-10

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (v. 6)

Many things about God’s dealings with the world are shrouded in mystery. God says “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). But there are some things that God’s Word makes abundantly clear. Here’s one from the pen of James: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

James here follows Isaiah: “The Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty . . . the haughtiness of people shall be humbled” (Isaiah 2:12, 17). Wherever our human pride exalts itself, God is there to bring it low.

With the humble, it is quite different. God loves to exalt the lowly ones of earth and pour his grace upon contrite hearts. Remember how Mary sang about that? “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly” (Luke 1:52).

Confession of our sins is a great antidote to pride, as is submission to God’s will. When we draw near to God with penitent hearts, he draws near to us.

Being humble does not mean groveling or running ourselves down. Humility is a grateful sense of dependence on God. Lowly hearts look to him for everything and then remember to give thanks.

PRAYER

Lord, root out my fast-growing pride and nourish in me the tiny shoots of humility. Thank you, in Jesus’ name.