Cure for Jealous Pride. James 4:5-10.

May 18th, 2009

James 4:5-10.

 4:5.  Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously''?
 4:6.  But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.''
 4:7.  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
 4:8.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
 4:9.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
 4:10.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Cure for Jealous Pride.

Human nature makes us all jealous and prideful. We want the things that others have, but we can't have for ourselves. It is said that the average person considers themselves to be above average. No matter how typical we really are, our pride elevates our own estimation of ourselves.

Pride can stand in the way of any of our best Christian virtues. Earlier in this writing of James, he talks about having wisdom, but when pride sets in, it causes problems in the way we share that wisom. We may be a little snobby, or tactless, which drives wedges and puts distance in relationships.

God gives grace, his mercies are new each day. Consider these statements:

  • God gives grace to the humble.
  • God resists the proud.
  • Satan flees the humble.

It isn't explicitly written, but if Satan flees from the humble, it might be also extended to say that Satan is attracted to pride.

God tends to give grace in abundance, and lift people up higher when they come to him in humility. A prideful person has the attitude of, 'Look what I can do, look what I did, I don't need anybody to help me.' Notice all those 'I' statements?

There are plenty of accomplishments that we can do on our own. Plenty of people become rich, lead huge corporations, preside over nations, all without being Christian or godly in any way. The bible talks about a city called Jericho that was such a place. It had strong walls, fortified, the lands around it were lush and productive. The people who lived there built it all up on their own, without God. It would take a massive army and the great loss of life to fight to take it over.

It was defeated and destroyed by a humble people, who acted in a humble way. Through the most unlikely of actions, blowing on horns,

Are you kidding? Horns? Not weapons, or strength? I'm sure that scientist could explain it away as some kind of sound vibration that hit a resonate note to make the walls to crumble, or explain it as a earthquake, or some combination of fluke natural occurances. How ever you want to rationalize it, God was in control of those seemingly unrelated events of nature. He alone caused the timing to occur at that exact moment to make the walls fall.

God uses the humble person, the weak person, to be a channel for his power to work in huge ways.

In the last part of this passage there is an odd statement. Let laughter be turned to mourning. Does that mean that God wants to take away all our fun?

All that means is that the things that we once found pleasure in, namely physical pleasures, pride in our own accomplishments, we should be ashamed. Especially actions that serve sinful behavior, but even any so-called virtuous things. If we are good little Boy Scouts, and do our good turn daily, but it is done out of self pride, it is a vain thing. It serves to build up our ego. Do the good deed, but do it for God. Pride tends to put God off, and bring Satan on.

Wat's the cure to our jealous pride? Mourn over the things we do with an atitude of pride. It's the humble act that will draw us near to God, he will lift us up. We are put back on our feet and know more joy than we ever could have on our own.

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