James has been telling us not to boast about our plans, but to seek God’s will for our future. In today’s verse, he is very matter-of-fact about the sin of arrogance…
As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:16)
Here is how the New Living Translation has rendered this verse: Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.
People are proud. We boast about what we did, what we are doing, and what we are going to do (or think we are going to do). The problem is that it puts the focus on ourselves, instead of on the Lord Jesus where it should be. Here is a better plan:
Let’s talk about what Jesus has done. He lived a perfect life to satisfy the Law. He died a sacrificial death to pay the penalty for sin. He rose again in victory over sin and death. Let’s talk about what Jesus is doing. He is saving all who confess their sin to Him, and accept His gift of forgiveness and eternal life that He paid for with His blood. Let’s talk about what He is going to do. He will return to this earth to set up His Kingdom, and eventually welcome all His followers into a new Heaven and a new earth.
As I see it, there are two big problems with boasting about our plans for the future. First, it places our plans ahead of God’s plans. Good intentions can turn into idolatry when our plans and goals become more important to us than God’s plans and goals for us. Second, boasting is silly because we don’t even have the ability to take our next breath apart from the will of God. We can’t keep our own heart beating. Every heartbeat and every breath is a gift from God. Without Him, we don’t have the power to accomplish anything. The people who mock God are able to do that because of the breath that He puts in their bodies.
So instead of boasting about our own past, present and future, let’s boast about Jesus!
Today’s Good News is that Jesus is worth boasting about!
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you have missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.