James 1:9-11

James exhorts us to boast and brag

Christians must always evaluate themselves by spiritual and not material standards.

James 1:9–11
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Jeremiah 9:23–24
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

James calls upon the lowly to consider their high position. 

The one who is rich should boast in his low position. 

Humiliation: to make low or to humble

there is a difference between humility and humiliation as they are used throughout the New Testament.

Humility is about submission to the Lordship of Jesus while recognizing that life comes only by the grace of God. 

  • counting others better than ourselves – Phil 2:3
  • respecting others – Eph 5:21
  • being willing to take last place – Matt 18:4; 20:27; Mk 9:35
  • confessing sin – James 5:16
  • forgiving others – Eph 4:32; Col 3:13
  • loving others – 1 Cor 13:4
  • taking a servant-heart – Matt 20:26
  • being concerned about unity – Rom 12:16

Humiliation is about forgoing one’s personal rights.

“As the poor brother forgets all his earthly poverty, so the rich brother forgets all his earthly riches. By faith in Christ, the two are equals.”

Isaiah 40:6–8

All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

permanence is not to be found in the material things of this world.