January 31, 2024


James 4:10-11 - Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Speak evil of no one, brothers, lest you be judged; for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.


In James 4:10-11, James calls on believers to humble themselves before God. He explains that when we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will exalt us. However, the opposite is also true - God opposes the proud (James 4:6). True humility recognizes our need for God's grace and acknowledges that all promotion comes from Him alone (Psalm 75:6-7). It also enables us to see ourselves accurately without falsely elevating ourselves over others. With humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2), because it allows us to see things from God's eternal perspective. After encouraging humility, James warns believers not to slander or judge one another. He reminds us that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ one day (2 Corinthians 5:10). Since Jesus alone has the authority to judge (James 4:12), we should be very careful about self-righteously judging others. This kind of judgment often stems from spiritual pride rather than humility. As Jesus said, we should first take the log out of our own eye before pointing out the speck in our brother's eye (Matthew 7:1-5).


The call to humility in this passage reminds me that everything good in my life is an undeserved gift from God, not something I can boast about. When I am tempted to judge others, it is usually because I have lost sight of my own sinfulness and need for grace. I become blind to my own weaknesses while fixated on someone else's. But when I humble myself before God, I see myself clearly as a recipient of mercy. This makes me slower to condemn and quicker to show compassion. As James points out, slander and judgment are extremely dangerous for believers. They create division and destroy trust within the body of Christ. Often we judge others as a way to exalt ourselves, not because we genuinely care about righteousness. We wrongly assume that we have the wisdom and authority to discern motives and sit in the seat of judgment. But Jesus expressly forbade this kind of judgmental and hypocritical spirit (Matthew 7:1-5). Instead, we are called to humility, honesty about our own shortcomings, and dependence on God's mercy. When we judge others unfairly, we usurp God's rightful place and face His resistance. But when we walk in humility and grace, we receive wisdom from above and draw closer to Jesus - the only righteous judge. May we reflect His heart for people rather than proudly assuming His role.


Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding me of the importance of humility. Forgive me for the many times I have harbored judgment and pride in my heart toward others. Help me to remember that any righteousness I have is a gift from You. Apart from Your grace, I am just as lost and broken as the people I am tempted to judge. Give me eyes to see my own sin clearly so I will be filled with compassion rather than condemnation. Help me to speak life and encouragement to those around me today. Let humility and wisdom mark my words and actions. Amen.

Generated Image(s)

With heads bowed low, we seek the Lord's wisdom, not our own.

With heads bowed low, we seek the Lord's wisdom, not our own.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.