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Arrogance and Boasting Dishonors Jesus and Hurts Our Faith
Bible Verse James 4:13-17
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that. But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
James in this section of scripture is not speaking against wise and prudent planning, and he is not speaking against budgeting. The Bible tells us to count the cost before we begin and to use the resources and blessings we receive from God wisely. What James is speaking against is arrogance and living our lives as if God doesn't exist. He is speaking against living our lives as if God and His commandments have no effect on us or our eternal destination. And treating the blessings and provisions the Lord has given us as if they came from ourselves not from God. As followers of Jesus, we are bond-servants of Christ, the Bible uses the word doulos, a word which refers to being a slave. This means we do not belong to ourselves, but we belong to Christ. And we are called by God to fulfill the work He has given us to do, and not to live for ourselves. We are called to fulfill His purposes and not to seek only for ourselves in order to fulfil our worldly desires and lusts.
And this is what James is speaking against, which is following after the world, living as the world lives and thinking as the world thinks. We don't chase after things the world chases after. Things which we know are passing away. Instead, James is reminding us to live with God in mind and not to seek after the things of the world. Moreover, we are not to apply the wisdom of the world to the things of God. We are not to use the wisdom of the world to do what the Lord has called us to do. As followers of Jesus, we are to put major life decisions before the Lord in prayer, following His will and guidance. And when trials come we are to trust in God and not lean on our own understanding. We are to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and make decisions based on what God's word tells us is right and wrong, not on what the world tell us is ok. This includes using God honoring principles we learn from the Bible such as humility, honesty and looking out for the best interest of others.