But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:6, NKJV
Referencing Proverbs 3:34, James reminds us that God’s unmerited favor is for the humble and not for the proud. Jesus teaches us precisely the same principle. “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)
While we can never earn the grace of God through a work of humility, we will never receive His grace without it. Whenever we adopt the attitude that God or others owe us something, it shuts the door on God’s grace. How can one receive as a gift that which they already feel entitled to own? How can God grant unmerited favor to a person who thinks it is merited?
When George Washington bowed his knee at Valley Forge, it was not with a sense of pride or power. Even the strongest of men invariably discover that we are nothing without God.