Transform: Humility vs. Success

Transform: Humility vs. Success March 23, 2016

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We have a balance we have to keep straight in our heads because if we’re honest we’re all working toward a goal of earning money in some kind of way. It’s just the nature of the beast, we’re trying to put food on the table and provide for our families.

James has an interesting word for us in James 1:9-11 that gives us an understanding of how we are to look at gaining money. He says

“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation and the rich in his humiliation. Like a flower of the grass, he will pass away.”

Then he gives an example, when the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass it’s flower falls and it’s beauty fades. So also will the rich man fade in the midst of his pursuits.

So what is James telling us? He’s not saying seeking after riches is ultimately a bad thing but what he is saying is if your dependence is on riches then you have some things out of order. Notice what he contrasts to that dependence and riches it’s a humility thing he actually says is an exalted place. That’s kind of a mind shift for us isn’t it? We think of humility as a low place but he says it’s an exalted place. Why is it an exalted place?

Because that’s when we’re most like Jesus, he was God, came down to the earth humbled himself and became a man James chapter 2 tells us. So if we can get into our heads that being humble is a place of exaltation and keep that in balance with this desire to gain money we’ll find that it’s easier for us to remember that we are solely dependent on God for our income. You need to be humble and realize that God is the one who provides for us, God is the one who takes care of us. That doesn’t mean we get to sit back and wait for him to pour on the blessings. We should work, we should be diligent we should work to make our own living but we need to be careful that we place of work we’re not putting ourselves in a place where security is coming from work. We don’t want to be the rich man who parishes in the waste of his pursuits, we need to say in this place of humility. This is hard one to think thought but I want to challenge you as a worker, as a business owner as an entrepreneur to think it through to yourself. What is it going to take to remain in a humble place where your reliance and dependence is on the lord and not on the hard work and the income.


At the same time stay diligent in your work and doing all things as unto the Lord. Depending on him to provide through the hard work you’re doing, without the hard work your doing becoming a place of dependence. It’s a hard place isn’t it? It’s a hard balance to keep. Praise God we have the Holy Spirit within us that can help us to do that.

I want to encourage you to think this through and develop yourself a philosophy of work that enables you to work hard for what it is you receive and achieve but at the same time remain in a humble place so you can acknowledge that God is the giver of all good things and God is the one who is going to provide for you ultimately.

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