Thought for the Week.07-31-16. Be Realistic in Self-Assessment
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth” (James 3:14).
Many times in scripture, the word bitter is associated with food or taste, but at other times it is used as a metaphor describing a harsh or hateful attitude as it is used in James 3:14 in describing envy. James actually is talking about harsh, extreme jealousy in contrast to one who is wise.
While James is talking about controlling the tongue in the context of those who teach, the lesson applies to every child of God. James is saying that we should never possess an overactive jealousy of others nor seek to promote ourselves above others. To “lie against the truth” refers to one who would even deceive himself in self-aggrandizement.
This powerful lesson hits at the heart of humanity. It is somewhat natural to want the respect of others, but we should be realistic in our self-assessment: we should never deceive ourselves into thinking our way is the only way nor that we are superior to everyone else—such a conclusion is usually not the “truth.”