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James 4:4–10 ‘But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (vv6–7)

The virtue of humility is seldom the objective of anyone’s character development programme today.

In our age of celebrity culture, most prefer the lens of life to promote their personal worthiness, and humanity’s contemporary mantra is, ‘I’m noticed, therefore I am’.

Whilst we might enjoy a modicum of success, we can take ourselves too seriously, failing to appreciate our true standing in God’s world.

Humility’s heart is best expressed by John the Baptist when he declared his life purpose was to decrease so that the presence of Jesus might increase (John 3:30).

True humility acknowledges that we are part of something far larger than ourselves. The heartbeat of that something larger is God who, having spoken everything into existence, continues now to hold all things together.


Only a fool assumes they’re self-sufficient. Wisdom recognises that, despite our wonderful gifts, our life is enhanced through the gifts of others.

Community affords benefits we cannot secure on our own and creation itself points towards God, the source of all existence (Rom. 1:20).

We struggle when we seek to make our own impact on life. We succeed when we recognise our primary need is to submit to God.

Obedience alone, hard won through our many struggles, or resisting the devil, is the only way in which we can realise our full potential in God.

The challenge is made harder by living in a culture infatuated with self-realisation. Indeed, discipleship is itself in danger of being repurposed as an exercise in self-actualisation, where we increase at Christ’s expense.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, help me to submit to You when facing choices and resist insisting upon doing things my way. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
What obstacles do you identify in your life that prevent you from complete obedience to God? What would help you overcome these obstacles?

Scripture To Consider:
Mic. 6:6–8; Prov. 11:1–8; Matt. 11:25–30; Phil. 2:1–11

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.