Don’t Boast about Tomorrow

In his pride, Moses lost his temper and was kept from the promised land (Num. 20:1-13). Pride kept Joshua from seeking God’s will at Ai, and he lost the battle (Josh. 7). King Nebuchadnezzar’s pride turned him into an animal (Dan. 4), and Peter’s pride led to his denial of Chris … More


This passage should be understood as an illustration of what happens in a life void of humility (vv. 11-12). In fact harsh criticism of fellow Christians is one of the worst expressions of pride. The person who does it sets himself above the person he criticizes and the divine law which forbids it.

Some men seem to think that they can lift themselves up by putting another down. In fact  even some well known preachers today seem to take pleasure in doing this type of thing. Often a person who consistently does this has a poor self image. The reason he does this is to try to make himself look better than the other person. The person who indulges in this type of thing sets himself above both the person he criticizes and the divine law which forbids it (v.11b). In effect he is saying that this is a bad law and not worthy to be obeyed. Such a person removes himself from the category of “a doer of the law” and becomes “a judge of the law” (v. 11c). However, there is only one lawgiver and judge, He who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor (v. 12)?

It seems like James is addressing the wealthy business men of his day who were boasting about their plans. They were making plans as if they were going to live forever (vv 13-16). Life is like steam coming from a tea kettle. Therefore we need to invest our lives into those things which will count for eternity. The way we find God’s will for our life is by doing what God has told us in His Word, to do (v. 17). As we apply what he says we will be pleasing in His sight, walking in His will. This type of conduct takes away a right which belongs only to God. He may delegate various functions and responsibilities to human representatives, but he permits no man to share His judgment seat, or to cancel or modify His laws. He has the exclusive right to judge because He alone is the lawgiver.


Have I been guilty of putting another Christian down and making him look bad? The exhortation of Romans 14:19 is “one may edify another.” I always need to think before I speak.

James 4:11-17 (English Standard Version)

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