God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6
Why is God against pride? Many great accomplishments have come about because of pride. Yet Scripture tells us God hates a proud look and He resisteth the proud. C.S. Lewis tells us that pride is a matter of competition, of comparing ourselves with others. He notes, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” Lewis further stated that people are not proud of being rich, or clever, or good looking, but rather they are proud of “being richer, or cleverer, or more good-looking than others.” His conclusion is that if everyone were equal in wealth, intelligence, or physical features, there would be nothing to be proud about. This competition drives people to go farther, reach higher, or do greater things, all for the purpose of comparison.
In contrast, James tells us that God giveth grace to the humble. What does humility do? It recognizes the good in others, it builds relationships, it strengthens the community. It is submissive, impartial, and sincere. The competition is eliminated and brotherly love abounds. Just as in the upper room, God is able to work in an atmosphere of “one accord.” God is able to work through human channels when there is no competing for who will get the glory. Humility does not mean that there will be no motivation for great achievements or reaching to new heights; it just means that the motivation behind our actions is for God’s glory, not man’s. Pride is divisive and alienates, humility supports and heals.