v 6 God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble
There is a whole spectrum of lifestyle and character between the two extremes of pride and humility. Growing to maturity as a Christian – experiencing more of God’s grace in daily life – is to move across the spectrum from the pride end to the humility end. In both verses 7 and 10 in this chapter James says ‘humble yourselves’, in other words humility does not come naturally and without some positive effort on our part. Don’t just expect humility to come willy-nilly, it won’t; you must make some positive plan to build it into your life and act to put it into effect. It does not come as a gift but rather as an outcome of a life that is disciplined to develop it.
Reflect for a while today on how you might develop humility in your life.
By doing the rotten job at home, church or workplace that nobody else likes doing – and keeping quiet about it.
By accepting that the job you do gains little or no public recognition.
By allowing others to stand in the limelight when you feel you should.
By not complaining when others push themselves forward.
By speaking positively, valuing the contribution that others make to life.
A life characterised by genuine humility will be gracious and gentle as God turns human valuations upside down. This is well expressed in Mary’s Song in Luke 1.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.