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You Do You

You Do You

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6

This may be oversimplifying things, but in medicine, it’s generally up to the physician to write orders while the nurse follows those orders. Even writing that though, feels like I’m being patriarchal and domineering. In our independent culture, we just don’t naturally embrace any form of submission. We believe ourselves to be autonomous and we think that being true to ourselves is our most noble calling. You do you. We don’t take orders well.

This has been my life problem, even as a Christian. I’ve always believed in God. Doubt isn’t my struggle. My problem is that I want to rule my life. I want to do exactly what I want to do – all the time. This self-governing is exactly what led to my addiction and its destructive consequences, but still, I daily struggle with following my will above all.

In today’s passage, James said that in our pride, we place ourselves in opposition to God. It’s not that God just frowns on our pride. James taught that our pride actually sets us in a position of resistance to God, as if in battle with him. What is this thing that causes God to oppose us? It is our pride. And what is pride? In part, it is thinking too much of ourselves. It is thinking overly highly of ourselves compared to others. It also though, is thinking of ourselves too much. If faith is believing in God and following him, pride says, Sure, I believe in God, but I follow me. Pride says that our will is superior to God’s and that we should follow our way above his. This is what causes God to war against us. It is our greatest sin and the cause of all our other sin.

We usually think of doubt or disbelief as the opposite of faith. Disbelief certainly is the opposite of belief, but faith isn’t simply about believing. Faith means believing in God and following him with our behavior. Seen in this light, doubt isn’t the opposite of faith. Rather, pride is the antithesis and the enemy of faith. In following God’s will, we practice faith, aligning ourselves with him. In pride, we go our own way, choosing opposition to God. I can believe in God without ever following him. This pseudo-belief is the pride of demons. Even the demons believe—and shudder (James 2:19)! It was pride, after all, that made the devil the devil and it is our pride that makes us fight against God. The only cure for this is to daily work at abandoning our way to humbly follow God’s. Pride is the enemy of our faith.

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