Day 2: James 1:9-11

Here is today’s reading.  If you would like to use the SOAP method of diving into the passage, you can find it here.  Feel free to share your comments or thoughts!

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.  But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.  For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. (TNIV)

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7 thoughts on “Day 2: James 1:9-11

  1. This passage has always been a bit of a puzzle to me. So I checked out some other translations and I came across this one in The Message. To me it helps make some sense of the passage. Give it a read. What do you think

    When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing. (James 1:9–11 MESSAGE)

  2. Lost in Translation…

    I find this passage a bit difficult in both translations. One advocates pride of position — and isn’t pride generally something we should avoid? When someone is pleased with their own humility, isn’t that being smug? And doesn’t it lead to tension and broken relationships?

    The other asks us to take joy in the failings of others — albeit the arrogant rich. Isn’t it better for us to be there for them to help them pick up the pieces when things have fallen apart?

    This has always been a difficult issue to me. Believing that all scripture is God-breathed and that God guides the hands of translators, yet having to turn to multiple translations — or to look back at the original text — to really discover the true meaning.

    Then again, I think it’s possible to overthink this. The basic idea is clear, that God sees past the trappings and pomp of life to what is in our hearts. He wants us to be humble and not get caught up in empty pursuits.

  3. “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.” Christians ought to be honored in their time of persecution not saddened because God is with them through it all. It is an opportunity to rise above the uncertainty of life’s trials and trust that God knows what he is doing. This is an ongoing struggle in the journey of Christians. For what we “ought” to do is stand on God’s promises. Do we do this? Do we stand firmly in Christ when things in our life are difficult? I know I should be but many times I fall short in this area.
    This life is temporary, transient. Things change. Do not rely on short term earthly glory for it fades quickly and does not bring benefits with it to heaven. I need to concentrate on what God wants from me, listen to him through his word and not get caught up in earthly pleasures.

  4. If we live with our feet planted on this earth then we will think of ourselves as low because others are greater, or great because others are lower. God evens that out – whatever we have is God’s gift and does not permanently belong to us, and at the same time we are “heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

  5. Maybe the puzzle is answered in the previous verses where we must ask for wisdom?
    Maybe we need to focus on that and the pride question will become clear?

  6. the Bible speaks of how hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven. It also speaks of the first being last and the last first, it speaks of being humble. I to questioned why the humble would take pride in a high position and the rich in his low because he will perish. This is one passage that I found all the translations gave it a bit of a different meaning so I really stuggled with what it could mean. The translation that helped me the most was the Amplified Bible, it speaks of the humble glorying in his elevation to Christian , heir to God, and the rich glorying in being humbled, by being shown his human frailty.
    What a glory it is to know that no matter the circumstance of this life, if we are poor, if we suffer, when we go through trials, we have the promise of heavenly riches, of holding the position of heirs of God.
    The rich man went away saddened because he had many riches , is this passage another reminder to remain humble and not to close our fists around our riches as they will fade away and take us with. Live our lives with the pure joy of sharing in a rich relationship with our Father.

    promise of heavenly riches and we will hold the position of heirs of God.

  7. After reading through this verse couple of times I’ve noticed a few things…

    It appears as if James is encouraging the believers to take heart in their difficult situation… Things aren’t always as they appear… The 1st aren’t 1st and the last aren’t last…

    James doesn’t say that the believers should take pride when the rich are humiliated… He says “the rich should take pride in their humiliation”. In other words… There will come a time when you will be brought down to size (not less than what you are)… When that happens don’t get pissed off… Don’t keep fighting for what you knew in the past… Humble yourself… Life is too short… Business can’t go on as usual…

    Just some thoughts…

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