An Exercise in Humility
GOD OPPOSES THE PROUD BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read James 4:4-10.
Verse of the Day: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10, NIV).
Jessica and Kayla’s gymnastics instructor waved them over to the sidelines.
“I’d like to work with the two of you on a few problems I’ve noticed in your exercises,” she said. She walked Jessica over to the bar in front of a large mirror. Placing one hand in the small of Jessica’s back and the other on Jessica’s ankle, she tried to show Jessica what she’d been doing wrong.
“I already know how to do it!” Jessica protested. She shrugged off her teacher’s hands and insisted on performing the move herself.
The instructor shook her head. “No, dear, you’re still making the same mistake,” she began, but Jessica interrupted her again.
“I can do it!” she said loudly, and continued. The instructor watched her for a moment. But Jessica’s exercise had not improved.
Finally, the instructor turned away from Jessica. She took a deep breath and nodded to Kayla, who stepped up to the bar. The instructor helped her position her feet and then, with one hand placed in the small of Kayla’s back and the other on one of Kayla’s ankles, began showing her the same movement she had tried to show Jessica.
Kayla listened carefully to the instructor and concentrated on doing exactly what she was told. Occasionally she would ask, “Like this?” or “Am I doing it right?” or “I did it again, didn’t I?” The instructor would answer patiently and with a smile.
“Oh,” Kayla finally cried in an excited voice. “I think I’ve got it now!” The instructor stepped away from the bar and watched as Kayla performed the move the instructor had shown her. “How was that?” Kayla asked when she had finished.
“Beautiful!” the instructor said. She clapped her hands together twice and smiled broadly. “That’s excellent, Kayla. Just remember to keep your back straight.”
“I will,” Kayla said, beaming.
“I can do that,” Jessica grumbled, watching Kayla’s fluid movements. “You could,” the instructor said sternly, “if you just changed one thing.” “What?” Jessica asked.
“Your pride. I can’t help you as long as you think you don’t need help.”
TO DISCUSS: What do you think was the difference between Jessica and Kayla? How do you think God “opposes” the proud? How do you think he shows grace to the humble?
TO PRAY: “Lord, you tell us that you oppose the proud and show grace to the humble. Reveal the areas of our life where we’re proud. Point us in the direction of humility.”