James 4:13-17--Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.
Arrogance is often identified by the way a person speaks. For example, bragging or condescending words can be a quick indicator of someone’s off-putting pride. Most of us can think of someone who is arrogant and we want nothing to do with such behavior. Indeed, we pride ourselves in not acting obnoxiously. But James gives us a much fuller view of how God views arrogance and it is rather convicting.
Consider this. If we control our calendar and are presumptuous about what actions we will take—with no thought of asking God what His will is, James labels this as arrogance! We are in effect making the statement that we arein charge. We know best. We do what is self-pleasing. James notes how rash our thinking is for we don’t even know how long we will live.
It gets worse. Suppose we see someone in need. Yet, instead of helping that person, we decide we are too busy. We resist the prompting of the Holy Spirit to help. Is this not haughtiness? How can we claim to be Jesus-followers if we essentially do our own things?
Lately I’ve thought about the author of Hebrew’s encouragement:
Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecterof our faith, who for the joy that lay before Himendured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1b,2)
What if we were to consider each day of our lives as a race? In a race, runners must stay on the course or they are disqualified. It is our sinful desires that cause us to stray from the approved route. Instead of taking our direction from God and following after Jesus, we pridefully run wherever we feel like. We even quit running! If we could see the course God plotted for us each day I suspect it would be embarrassing how much different ours looked.
J. Oswald Sanderswrote inSpiritual Leadership, “Pride is a sin of whose presence its victim is least conscious.” For this very reason let us resolve to humbly seek God’s will in how we live each day. By doing so we stay on His path, we honor Christ and God is truly glorified.
Pride is the central citadel of independence of God.—Oswald Chambers in Biblical Psychology
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)