But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, 
but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) ESV

I once felt invincible as a seven year old and challenged another boy to a fight. He tried to wriggle his way out of it. I could sense he felt inadequate to stand up to me (which boosted my misplaced confidence) but egged on by a small crowd of boys, he finally stepped up to the contest. We circled and traded blows. Wham! Smack! Bang! In a flash, my white shirt was stained bright red. Blood oozed from my battered nose. I stopped dead in my tracks, more horrified about what my mum might do to me than about what my opponent had done! He was carted off victorious while I was left to lick my wounds and concoct a story about blood on my shirt before I got home. My pride took a beating that day. And the memory still hurts. Ouch!

I always tell people when I received the Lord into my life, two things burst. The first was my fulsome teen pride and the other was my appendix. Grace saved me from my pride and an emergency operation saved my life. Both were essential. One dealt with my spiritual life. The other my physical. Over the years, I have come to realize that pride is a hateful thing to God. It arises from the web of our sin-stained life and manifests itself as self-righteousness, superiority and impatience. I still see these things in myself today. True, more subtly than when I was an unbearable seven-year old. My wife tells me they’re still there. But His grace is changing me. When we yield our pride to Him, He gives us more grace, unending grace!

The true opposite of pride is not humility. It is meekness. Humility is a lowliness that may or may not carry strength. Meekness is lowliness arising from surrendered strength. The same mindset was found in Christ who though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself and took the form of a servant… (Phil 2:7). He extends to us the same grace today. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly of heart..” (Mt 11:29). It is in so doing that we will find rest for our souls.

Dr Philip Lyn

Young AdultsComment