“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” – James 4:6 ESV
I’m not the best at biting my tongue. Sometimes I’m so bent on knowing all there is to know that I lose touch with what made me want to know it in the first place. I ache for conversation and I’ve become contemptuous from disappointment.
God opposes the proud… I think He lets you feel the echo.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.– James 4:7 ESV
Submit. Take the attitude adjustment. Feeling like a loser, even if you played your best, serves to remind you that it’s not about how well you play. It’s not about always being right. Pride is really slippery. It can get into anything. It’s easy to justify, too. Resist, and the urge to strike will go away.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. – James 4:8 ESV
Come near to God. Make the Sovereign your refuge (Psalm 73:28). If God wants to be our refuge, then does He make sure that no other refuge works? Is that why no other refuge works?
(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. -Hebrews 7:19 ESV
You don’t get to God with your good works and your ability to obey the rules. Contrary to our natural inclination to “do-it-yourself”. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t bring peace. It just makes us unstable and cynical.
Wash your hands. You sinners. Purify your hearts. You double-minded.
It’s not a contradiction. It’s deeper than it sounds.
You can’t have it both ways, accepting a free gift and then trying to make it better with your awesomeness. As soon as you focus on how great you’re doing, something will come up and knock the wind out of you. Maybe you’ll have to watch people not as good as you succeed while you get marked off.
Maybe someone, in one way or another, will tell you that you are not worth hearing.
Pride flares up. …and that’s where you see it. The wrong motivation. The wrong drive. The wrong purpose.
We’re not here to be liked. You have to figure out another way to gauge your success.
I have to figure out another way to gauge myself.
Maybe we’re not supposed to be gauging ourselves.
Take the attitude adjustment. The sooner you soften and admit that you’ve been a little too self-focused, the sooner the peace of refuge comes.
Even Pride’s mistress gets to run away from herself.
Inner peace gives birth to patience. Patience grows up and gives birth to kindness. All of these make you, gladly, forget yourself.
I can feel the release already.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. -James 4:10 ESV