February 12, 2024

Self-Centered Faith

“…in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your soulsJames 1:21


Pride is one of those sins we seldom stop to deal with; maybe because it doesn’t sound as serious as things like lust or greed. But left unchecked pride has the power to produce self-centered faith. The believers James was addressing were apparently struggling with the issue of pride. His instructions show us why pride and self-centered faith are so dangerous.


When you boil it down pride is the sin of thinking we know better than God. So rather than take God at His word, pride tells us to interpret everything in relation to our own well-being. The best way to combat self-centered faith is surrendering to God and His Word. That’s why James told these believers to receive the Word with humility. The thoughts and attitudes that pride erects, Scripture corrects.


James describes trying to think godly and worldly at the same time as being double-minded (James 1:7). But it’s not just about what you think; it’s about what you actually do. “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was” (James 1:23–24).


When self is on the throne it’s almost impossible to discern effectively because we judge what’s happening by how it affects us. And an elevated sense of self nurtures deception (Galatians 6:3). Pride can also cause us to be defensive, irrational, and easily offended—which harms our relationships. James says, “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19).


Unbridled pride leads to thinking that faith is about you rather than about Jesus Christ. It leads to putting your own desires before the needs of others. Have you developed a self-centered faith? You’ll never discern what God is doing as long as you are on the throne of your life. Christ-centered faith puts self on the Cross—not the throne. Allow the Bible to give you a proper understanding of yourself, so you’ll have a proper understanding of your faith.