Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
A Risky Proposition
You wonder if James was thinking about his brother, Jesus, when he wrote these words. Certainly, there was never anyone humbler. Perhaps, James had heard of how Jesus took little children in his arms, spent time with the outcasts, and stooped down to wash his disciples’ dusty feet. Then in his greatest act, Jesus humbled himself by submitting to the Lord’s plan and allowing himself to be crucified like the worst of criminals. But the Lord lifted him up. On the third day he raised Jesus from the dead proving that his death for sinners was accepted. Jesus’ humility was for you and for me.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord.” Humility is not something that comes easy to us. Maybe that’s because it seems kind of risky. If I don’t draw attention to the good things that I do at work, then who will notice? Or if I don’t stand up and speak out for my own interests, then who will take care of them? Humility can be a difficult thing to put into practice in our everyday lives, and especially as we consider our relationship with the Lord. Human reason tells us that if we openly and freely admit that we deserve nothing, that is exactly what we will get.
But notice that these words are not just a command, but a promise. James writes, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” When you come before the Lord, you don’t have to pretend that you are better than you are. The Lord knows your sinful thoughts, words, and actions, better than you do. But nevertheless, because of your humble Savior, the Lord will lift you up. He will not and he cannot turn away those who come to him with nothing but the cry, “Lord, have mercy on me!”
It might seem risky to practice humility in your life, but God promises blessing. He promises to bless you in your relationships with others, and most importantly, when you come before him trusting in your Savior alone.
Dear Heavenly Father, your Son humbled himself for all. Help me to trust in you and to practice true humility as I approach you and as I interact with others in life today. Amen.