Focal Passage: James 4:1-17
Humility: J. Oswald Sanders
writes in his book on Spiritual Leadership, “Out of his wisdom Robert Morrison
of China wrote, ‘The greatest fault I think, in our mission, is that no one
likes to be second.’ The world has yet to see what could happen if everyone
lost the desire to get the glory. Wouldn’t it be a marvelous place if nobody
cared who got the credit?’”
Humility: Someone has
written that if you’re humble, you don’t write the book on how humble you are,
with twelve life-size pictures in it.
James poses a question to
this community of faith — What do you honestly desire?
Is it God’s will or your
personal will? Sadly, if it is our own will, then we must be prepared for the
consequences: out of a hedonistic (of your pleasures) spirit will arise wars
and out of a covetous spirit, death. For James friendship with the world (apart
from God) is hatred of God.
Humility: Not only is
humility the passionate desire for God’s will, but it is also submitting
ourselves to God and standing against the demonical and slanderous one. It is drawing near to God, pure and
Quoting from Proverbs 3:34,
James writes, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
The term used for proud
means to suppose oneself to be above others. It is to be disdainful and
arrogant towards others that issues in an utter contempt for the others we
meet. According to Proverbs 6,
there are six things which the Lord hates and among them is haughtiness or
arrogant pride. Thus, God is fully armed in battle array against the proud and
generously gracious towards the humble. James writes, “Humble yourselves in the
presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (4:10).
Humility: Underlying James’
teachings on humility is the example Jesus Christ displayed in his earthly
ministry. Paul sings of this divine humility in Philippians 2:5-11.
Where James speaks of focus,
submission and obedient trust, Paul describes He who though in nature was God
“made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant … humbled himself…
and became obedient to death — And concludes by saying “Therefore God exalted
him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.” James
tells us to follow Christ’s example and “humble ourselves before God and he
will lift us up.”
True humility is ultimately
to Him who loves us and always carries us into His blessed future.
As the hymnist has so richly
expressed, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.” That