1 Corinthians 4:6-7, “. . .that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”
God’s grace is what makes us different from another in terms of gifts that motivate and enable our serving to meet needs. Whether we are talking about the ministry gifts (Ephesians 4:11) or motivational gifts (Romans 12:6-8), they are all gifts of grace we did not work for, earn, or deserve. We all have gifts of grace though only some are ministry gifts. Romans 12:6-8 says, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” These are often called motivational gifts because the grace gifting works in us to see and be quipped to meet different needs.
Notice it says, “Having then gifts differing….” It is the grace of God that enables anyone to serve. The differences of grace are not to make us feel superior, but humble. Whatever anyone has, it did not start with them. So why boast or glory as if it did? How can anyone have room to boast? Glorying is taking credit for what is the result of God’s grace and it robs glory from God. We are told to let no man glory in men.
Understanding grace humbles us and humbling ourselves is what allows God to give more grace. We are to honor, value, and esteem one another highly in love but we must also realize it is grace that enables everyone to serve so we don’t glory in men. All glory goes to God and His grace. That is thinking soberly and not above what we ought to think (Romans 12:3).
James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5, “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
God gives more grace. That means grace does not end at salvation, but there is more grace. The only one who cannot receive it is the proud person. In fact, pride is the number one hindrance to growing in grace. A proud person is one who shows himself above others and so lifts himself against God. Pride is the inability to admit need and thus, never depending on God for grace. This attitude resists God’s grace. God has no choice but to resist the resister.
On the other hand, humility admits its need and submits, rather than resists. To the humble person God then gives more grace. The more we understand grace, the more it humbles us, but also the more we humble ourselves the more grace He gives us. Humility, then, is the ability to receive what we do not deserve. 1Peter 5:5 tells us we are to be “clothed with humility”. Clothes can be seen. Clothes must be put on. Clothes are made to fit, but when they do not, adjustments need to be made. The adjustments need to be made to our flesh, not the clothing of humility. Grace produces humility, which is when we surrender our rights, seek no recognition, and make ourselves of no reputation. Only being secure in grace could produce such character in us.