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But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, “God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (NCV

I have a friend I’ll call Jim. Jim is one of the most kind, gentle and wise men I know. He’s got a very demanding job and even though it gets stressful, I’ve heard him comment on the struggles of his job, but never the people he serves. I’m guessing from the way I see him interact with his wife of 30 years that he’s a good husband. They still hold hands, still talk openly of their love for each other, still respect the opinions of each other. Looking at his children, he must be a good dad. Family time is frequent and even though they all have families of their own, joint family vacations are an annual event. Watching the glee with which his grandchildren scramble to him, he’s a good grandpa too.

On a spiritual plane, Jim not only knows the Bible, he has the uncanny ability to take some of the most complicated truths of God’s word and bring them to a level even a child could understand. He’s a great teacher in his words as well as his actions. He doesn’t get into meaningless arguments and when he speaks, his words are hard to refute.

So why to I give you all this information? Because Jim is constantly talking about his need for grace and how undeserving he is of God’s love! I still shake my head on that one. He’s the most humble and faultless man I know. Sure he’s human, but compared to some others I know (especially me) he’s the most deserving person I know to receive God’s grace.

Human logic would agree with me that people like Jim are deserving of grace and receive more grace because of the way they act. James 4:6 would even appear, on the surface, to support that notion.

The problem with that argument is that God has given each of us the full measure of his grace available. People that are humble don’t receive more grace, they are more aware of their need of grace.

Too often people confuse being humble with being humiliated. To be humiliated means that my opinion of myself, or the opinions others have of me tells me that I’m completely worthless and hopeless. I have no future. I am of no earthly value.

Being humble, on the other hand, means I’m well aware of my inability to live the life I desire apart from the power of God. I have worth. I have ability. I have gifts and talents the benefit mankind. But I have them simply because of God’s grace. Humility simply means we realize our need.

The more humble we are, the more we realize our need for forgiveness and the effect our weaknesses have on our relationships with God, others and ourselves. The more we realize our need for forgiveness the more willing we are to forgive those who don’t deserve our forgiveness. The more we realize our need, the more patient we are with the faults and shortcomings of others.
Does God favor the humble more than others? Certainly not! The humble person favors God more because he realizes that without God he can never realize the potential he has through God.

The more we realize our need for God’s grace, the more that grace becomes available to us.

PRAYER: Lord God, I thank you for who I am. I thank you for my gifts, my talents, my abilities. I thank you that I am your masterpiece. But most of all, I thank you for your grace that empowers me to live to my fullest potential through your power, not my own. Help me live grace-fully in the presence of others so they are drawn to you. Amen.

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