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As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:16)
Those who have had success in business tend to boast of those successes. However, this is not the way of a true Christian. James says that these ones were boasting of the successes they would have in their future to the disregard of God, the very person who holds their eternal future in his hands. Yes, this is arrogant indeed. The bright lights of life have blinded these ones. They are as the apostle John said, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 John 2:16) Our boasting is to result from our relationship with God. His presence has been a blessing to our lives and will continue to do so. Paul wrote, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) Paul knew that when he was weak, the power of God protected him, and this is where the boasting should lay.
The boasting and arrogance are evil because it is of the world, which is under the rulership of Satan, and this one is fooling himself if he believes it will be lasting. Oh, he may be a successful businessman his entire life, but if this arrogance remains, it will end at death. He rather should return to his dependence on God.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
23 Thus says Jehovah: “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, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am Jehovah who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for I delight in these things,” declares Jehovah.
God is not saying that one cannot be wise, mighty, or rich, but rather he should not fall into the wrong way of thinking by bragging about them. To do so would be to ignore his dependence on God. Such an attitude would result from self-fantasy and arrogance, and in the end, it will result in condemnation.
As it is, you boast in your arrogance. That is to say, perhaps, in your boasting of what you can do. In other words, you are relying on your own abilities and wisdom. You make your plans for the future as though it was with absolute understanding and are sure of your success. You do not make allowance for failure. You are incapable of seeing how your plans are so skillfully formed can possibly fail. You create them as though there is no possibility of your dying. As if safe from the myriad losses which could defeat your plans.
All such boasting is evil. This kind of boasting (καύχησις kauchēsis), being self-satisfied with your own coming achievements or your plans of what will occur. You are lacking appreciation for your dependence on your Creator. You forget the uncertainty of life in Satan’s world, filled with people who are mentally bent toward evil with treacherous heats, seeking to do wrong. You forget your own human imperfection and how all these things can defeat the best-laid plans. The best approach is to never boast of any kind of future venture. It could be the next hour, day, or week that knocks those plans out from under you. We have no power to control whatever events are coming in the future.
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