Ansell: Time to focus more on God and less on ourselves
The Blonde and I do a small group discipleship event every Sunday night in our backyard. We call it The Porch (we don’t actually have a back porch but we are getting there).
We have been studying the Book of James and James is like my older brother that even when you say, “Uncle” he doesn’t let you up for air. What I’m saying is James is almost a bully when it comes to stepping on your toes, but if you love Jesus you love James (after all he is Jesus’ little brother) and you allow him to say some things to you that normally would be hard to hear and hard to accept from anyone else.
This past week we read James 4:6, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Most people will say, “Oh pastor I don’t struggle with pride.” Ha! you don’t?! They say pride is maybe the original sin if not the root of all sin. I think pride is like an unwanted weight gain, you don’t notice until it’s too late.
Psalm 10:4-5 tells us proud people are consumed with themselves and are far from God, they would never even think about asking God for help, “He does not fit into their plans.” And they, “… succeed in everything they do.” So, why would or why do they need God, right?! Pride is arrogance but for the most part, it is self-worship, you become your own god, the center of your own life, you take the glory that is the Lords.
I’ve got a friend that he and his wife made dinner plans with another couple. They got to the restaurant and their friends were late so they sent them a text message. The late couple responded with, “On our way.” My friend was upset that they were having to wait and so when their friends arrived he kind of poked at them for being late. Finally, the couple shared that the dinner plans were made for the following week but they dropped everything when the text message came through and went to the restaurant anyway. They were actually a week early, not a few minutes late. Ouch!
Proverbs 16:18 says, “First pride, then the crash, the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” Remember the last part of James 4:6, God’s unmerited favor is for the humble. Humility is not a valued commodity in our culture is it? To be humble is to be “absent of self.” Jesus called it being “poor in spirit.” It’s how we come to Christ, broke, bankrupt, beyond any help the world could give us. We come surrendered and without any hope but the hope that can be found in Christ alone.
The struggle is staying humble and not reverting back to being prideful. We are all experts aren’t we? We’ve never run a country but we all know what the president should do. Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing their opinion.” Let’s throw in James 1:19 that tells us to be, “quick to listen and slow to speak.”
What am I saying? I’m saying maybe we need to lower our assessment of ourselves, slow our roll, pay attention to what God is doing, cut other people some slack (have you ever had a bad day or made a mistake more than once), let’s not be so big on ourselves, let’s keep giving God the credit (glory) He is due.
He told me to tell you that.