Summary: How we perceived ourselves and others is important to have a life that makes a difference


(2nd of a Series in the Book of James – A Life That Makes a Difference Series)

Text: James 1:9-11

vv. 9-11, “9 Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his elevation (as a Christian, called to the true riches and to be an heir of God), 10 and the rich (person ought to glory) in being humbled (by being shown his human frailty), because like the flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun comes up with a scorching heat and parches the grass; its flower falls off and its beauty fades away. Even so will the rich man wither and die in the midst of his pursuits. (Amplified) (Isaiah 40:6-7)


(ILL. Last June 12 we celebrate our Day of Independence and I like what ABS-CBN did, when they urge every Filipino to put Philippine flag and I like their promotion in TV where every people in every walk of life; children, youth, adult, student, working, housewife, indigenous people, rich, poor, etc., stand still and place their hand at their heart to show respect, honor and most specially to take pride as Filipino.)

Hope you are taking pride as Filipino whatever your situations and conditions and circumstances in life, simply because you belong to Filipino race. This is what James in chapter 1 verses 9-11 is urging as to do as part of God’s Kingdom, as part of God’s family. (Read – James 1:9-11)

From these verses we can see Christian principles that God desires to see to each one of us as part of His family, as part of God’s Kingdom when we take pride as part of it. That is why here in James 1:9 we are urging to take pride when God humbled us either in our circumstances or our position and condition, and we can see why? Because it will give us:

1. Right JUDGEMENT in life

(ILL. Video – Car & Power-Point – the Art of Fooling Men). We have an idiom that goes like this, “Natanso ako!” Satan is very good in the art of fooling people, even Christians and that is what happen in the Garden of Eden, but even so just as what happen to the first man, the choice is ours it is either our judgment is base on the Truth from God’s word or base on what we know, what other said, or what the world view is. The word here, “to take pride” also means “to rejoice”, to rejoice whatever situation and condition you have and you are in, as long it is God’s will and purpose. This is the problem with many people, even Christians that we rejoice if everything is okay, or if we are wealthy and have a lot of material possessions, our judgment is base on what we have or what we don’t have. I like what James used here, he didn’t use the word “poor” instead he used the phrase, “in humble circumstances”. Because there is no poor in God’s family, because as Christian we called to the true riches and to be an heir of God. Because as I mentioned always that riches or prosperity is not just having a lot of money or possessions because if that is the case then why there is a lot of wealthy people all over the world who kill themselves? But it doesn’t mean that riches are wrong, NO! I believe that God want also to bless us materially, that there were also time where God will place us in position where we are materially abundant but the point here is our judgment when we are in both position or the moment we are in this position. That is why James used the phrase, “in humble circumstances” is because we are in momentarily in a situation where God wants us to rejoice not because of what we acquire but because of what we are in God, we are His children, and we are co-heir with Jesus. Matthew 23:12, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” And this also the reminder of James to rich brethren that they too should “take pride” on their low position or being humbled before God. And James explain it by mentioning an allegory, using the flowers of grass that riches is like that its like a beautiful flower and yet it easily disappear, it dies, he explain here the frailty of human body. Isaiah 40:6-8, “6 All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8 the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Our judgment affects our relationships with God, with others and with ourselves. There is a principles here that, whatever circumstances, position God place is a blessings to us, but to come out from God’s plan & purpose because of wrong judgment to what we are in is a curse, and the one who brings curse is us. We can see that in the life of Adam and Eve, God’s created Eden for them and yet they try their own way because of wrong judgment about God, about themselves so instead of coming back to God they choose to do it their way so God drive them out where the land is curse, they can choose to correct their wrong judgment about God, that God can forgive them but they choose not. So it’s our choice, the only place and position that is safe is the positioned created by God for us even if you don’t understand it. Remember this: “God doesn’t need you, you need Him. God can do anything without you, but you cannot do anything without God.” That is why James urge us “to take pride” “to rejoice” because it give us right judgment in life. Right judgment leads to:

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