“But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Debate in The Digital Age
Would it be too big of a stretch to say that we are perhaps more loudly entrenched in division than any era before us? The welcomed addition that is our digital-aged social media influence seems to back this idea up nicely.
It’s never been easier to pull up a newsfeed and see so many people with so many starkly contrasted opinions to share…but even that isn’t especially new to mankind. In the lines just before today’s key verse, James writes, “What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your passions that wage war within you?” (James 4:1 ). And we surely do have a front row seat to that war waging within us all today.
Check Your Witness
So, what do we do? How can we keep ourselves in check—with our witness still on the forefront—as we seek to voice the truth through such polarizing force fields of opinions and hatred? James has some thoughts on this, but be warned that they may rub us the wrong way, just as they did for the early church.
He tells us how—even here in the midst of great conflict—the Spirit of God yearns to abide mightily within us. Though, speaking truthfully, we would rather simply make talking points to gratify ourselves and our own points of view. To this point, James writes, “But he gives greater grace… God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). So, the greater our stance of humility, the greater the grace in store.
Jabs or Jesus?
If there’s any camp we should aspire to be in, it’s in the one that receives more grace, the one that is more humble, and the one where ears are pointed towards their opposers, ready to offer a thoughtful and graciously seasoned word in response to the space they’ve first given to really listen in.
Our role is not to offer self-aggrandizing jabs at those with opposing views, but to simply offer them what the rest of the world just can’t: the simple love of Jesus. And this requires greater humility from us, that we would be recipients of even greater grace. The world needs fewer heated online posts and more opportunities for gracious discourse. The Spirit yearns to abide here with us, within these difficult spaces, even more deeply than our anger is thrashing around and just so ready to be heard. In this we find the truth for the truly humble: there’s greater grace in store.
Consider the influence you have in your various circles, both online and face-to-face. How could your humility and listening ear impact others for gospel good? Reflect on the ways you can show Christ’s love by thoughtfully speaking the truth in love, rather than allowing hate-fueled speech to takeover your gospel witness.