James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
God’s grace is available to the humble. Humble people have the ability to admit need and recognize their dependence upon God. They do not think more highly of themselves nor do they diminish themselves, which is thinking soberly (Romans 12:3). They can say of themselves everything God says about them in His Word. They are able to acknowledge that all they have and are came from Him and so they glory in God alone (1 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Peter 4:10, 11). Humble people totally trust in God as the source of their sufficiency (2 Corinthians 3:4, 5).
What makes certain people feel more important than other members of the Body of Christ? What leads us to concentrate on our rights instead of our responsibilities? What produces hardness of heart to where we’re insensitive to others’ needs and withhold love? What is the root to all contentions which leads to unforgiveness because it causes impatience with others? It is pride which is the root nature of what led to the Fall. Pride is an over high opinion of oneself; exaggerated self‑esteem; conceit; and haughty behavior resulting from this. It is excessive belief in one’s own worth, merit, or superiority. It is the number one resister to the grace of God. God resists and opposes the proud, haughty, or stuck up person. The word “resisteth” is a military term that actually means to set oneself in battle array against; it also means to oppose, to be hostile toward, to show hostility to. We live under grace, yes, but we also have responsibilities under grace and that is to stay humble.
There are five faces of pride we should avoid.
This is the belief in the superiority of one’s race over another race. That’s silly since we all came from Adam and Eve. Race pride leads to racism. Racism is based on the spirit of division, it always magnifies differences but in Christ Jesus there is no difference among us. We are all one in Christ Jesus though our spirits may be clothed differently. We all have different color of clothing, thank God for dark clothing, thank God for light clothing, thank God for yellow clothing, thank God for red clothing, but that isn’t the issue, the issue is what is on the inside. It doesn’t matter what color clothes (skin) you have on, you are the Body of Christ. Ephesians 2:13-14 says, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” He is our peace for he hath made both one, Jew and Gentile and man with God again. He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us. In the Spirit there is no difference. Of course, we know God recognizes three ethnic divisions of the human race, Jews, Gentiles, and Church of God 1 Cor. 10:32 with regard to His covenant plans but I like what I heard a great evangelist say, “There’s only two races on Earth; the one racing toward Heaven and the one racing toward Hell.”
This can be seen when thinking more highly of our church or places of ministry than we ought to think. People who go to a big church where things seem to be happening and are getting all the headlines can think they are more special than other places, or that they are big because God is blessing them. Size isn’t always a determiner of the place where God is. Remember Noah was where God was and there were only eight souls with him. God not only commends big churches but small ones too Revelation 2:19. He holds the pastor of a small church in His hands Revelation 1:20. It’s funny that some who have place pride go to a church that was made fruitful and productive by other people’s sacrifices and labor and yet they use it to bolster their own self esteem as if they produced it. In the military there are not only “bases” but also “outposts” that certain soldiers are stationed at with their assignment. They are not there because of ability or lack of ability but simply because of placement.
This can be seen by those who have had the opportunity to hear a lot of the teachings of the Word of God and developed as a result of the Word but hold themselves superior to those who are new and just don’t know much. Our maturity is nothing to glory in but all glory should go to God’s grace just like our salvation. There is no room for boasting for our salvation neither should there be boasting for our growth for we are who we are by the grace of God 1 Cor. 15:10. We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak Rm. 15:1 so the real sign of maturity is how supportive we are of our weaker brothers not how much we know.
This can be seen by how we carry ourselves when we make mistakes or do something wrong. Prideful people have a hard time admitting they are wrong about anything but will always try to save face, spin their wrong in the most positive way, or minimize the darkness of their deeds. What is wrong with saying, “I’m sorry, you are right, I was wrong, please forgive me. What’s wrong with calling our sins sin instead of “I got this problem, or I’m having a challenge, or I’ve got some issues.” If we humble ourselves God will lift us up in due time.
This can be seen where a person gets an exaggerated opinion of themselves or overate their importance because of the gifts, graces, anointing, and privileged place of service God has given them. It is taking credit for what should be to the praise of the glory of God’s grace. Some believers worship the men of God in their life by thinking about them above what is written in the Scriptures holding them up as heroes, celebrities, and superstars. I’m not talking about giving proper honor where honor is due but rather glorying in men. 1 Corinthians 3:21 says, “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours,” and 2 Corinthians 10:17 says, “But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” Who would any of us be without the grace of God on us? The more one knows of grace, the more it humbles you. Jesus surrendered His rights, made Himself of no reputation, and sought no recognition and that is the mind we are to have in us (Philippians 2:3-8).