Day 5 Read: James 4:7-10
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Reflect: What is the command of verse 9? How does James encourage the reader to respond?
Consider: The four imperatives that follow in this verse together call for a deep transformation of attitude toward God. Nothing short of an attack upon the inner self and its hypocritical attitude will do. The exhortation to attack one’s own heart begins with the call to “grieve” its wretchedness.44 Just as humans experience the devastation of war, the heart is “wretched” because of its rebelliousness against God.5
Respond: The same power that raised Jesus from the dead gives us the power to overcome our desires. Why, then, don’t we turn to God to overcome our sinful desires? How can we make turning to God in the midst of our desires a pattern in everyday life? Who is the most humble person you know? What could you emulate about his or her life? How does cultivating a humble heart keep us away from jealousy and conflict with others?
5 Kurt A. Richardson, James, vol. 36, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997), 187–188.