“And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
The question we need to ask is why does God oppose or resist the proud. When we understand why God resists the proud, we will realize it is a spiritual condition we must avoid at all costs.
Notice the verse starts out emphasizing God’s generous giving of grace. Those who receive His grace are identified as being humble and those who don’t are called proud.
The humble see their need for grace, whereas the proud don’t. We can see this very clearly in the Gospels from the interactions Jesus has with people. Some are humble and receive from Him while others are self-righteous and see no need for what He has to offer them.
We see this contrast between the woman who washed and perfumed Jesus’ feet who received forgiveness for her sins and the Pharisees who argued with Jesus that who she was and what she had done disqualified her from being accepted by God (Luke 7:36-50). Jesus engaged their faulty logic about God’s nature and character to show them that those who experienced God’s grace and mercy would love God a lot. Those who didn’t saw no need to love God since they believed it was their efforts and personal holiness that made them righteous.
God opposes and resists people like this because they put their trust in their dead works (Hebrews 6:1). The apostle Paul taught that anytime we come to God trusting in our goodness, it is like offering God dung (Philippians 3:8). It is easy to see why God opposes and resists such an offering. This is the problem with pride; it magnifies death and the works associated with death and ignores the life God offers us freely.
Humility is a sign people’s hearts are grounded in God’s grace and love for them. They live their lives in total trust of God’s goodness toward them and their strength and wisdom come from living in harmony with God.
Religion views people who place their trust in God’s grace as being weak. The truth is the strongest believers are those whose strength comes from the Lord, not those who trust in their own abilities.
A humble life is one of godly strength; it guards your heart against pride.
“Happy are the people whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage” (Psalm 84:5).