Who Do You Think You Are?

(Today’s post by Chris Queen)

James 4

who do you think you areI don’t know about you, but anytime I read James, I can’t help but marvel at how heavily he hits. Jesus’ brother pulls no punches whatsoever and makes no apologies for speaking the truth so bluntly. In chapter 4, he speaks his mind on several topics with one thread running through them – pride. Basically James asks his audience, “Who do you think you are?” about several topics.

Who do you think you are when it comes to jealousy and conflict?

1 Where do quarrels and conflicts among you come from? Don’t they come from this, namely your passions that battle within your body parts? 2 You crave and have not. You murder and you envy, yet you cannot get it. You fight and you wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives so you may spend it on your passions.

Who do you think you are, acting without humility?

6 But He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Therefore submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded! 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of Adonai, and He shall lift you up.

Who do you think you are to judge your neighbor and speak ill of him?

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brethren. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the Torah and judges the Torah. But if you judge the Torah, you are not a doer of the Torah, but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge—the One who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you who judges your neighbor?

Who do you think you are to make plans without seeking God’s will?

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

Who do you think you are, neglecting what you should be doing?

17 Therefore whoever knows the right thing to do and does not do it—for him it is sin.

These are some bold statements, aren’t they? But the question remains – who do you think you are? Do you allow pride and arrogance to run your life, or do you practice humility? Do you carry on as though you’re invincible, or do you seek God’s will when it comes to making plans? Do you foment conflict, or do you seek peace?

These aren’t always the easiest choices to make, but they’re the most rewarding by far. I want to strive for God’s way of living my life, don’t you?

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