Recently I have noticed something and it has changed my life. The scripture above says that God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. This is always a good thing to keep in mind as I really don't want God to resist me!
My eldest daughter, Lorah, has helped me understand this principle. As I have watched her and learned from her I have seen more and more of how important it is to be grateful. This is not directly humble but I do believe being grateful is a part of a humble nature. By nature, Lorah is always grateful. She never demands or expects anything and this attitude actually makes you want to give more to her. If we are out shopping and she asks for something I don't want to say no to her. The way she humbly asks is so lovely that I just want to give her WHATEVER she asks for. Most people are attracted to Lorah - she is so lovely to be around, so generous with kind words & generally kind to everyone. I have watched her intently for a while trying to pin down what makes her so awesome and one of her key qualities is an attitude of gratitude. It's genuine!
There are other people in my life that aren't so grateful. They are more pushy, more proud and more demanding! I noticed that I resist them. I don't want to say yes to their request and I don't really like being around them. Their company is not pleasant so I limit my time with them. As I have observed how I treat Lorah and how I treat other people I have been able to really understand what this verse in James means.
I have been working on this part of my character and I am intentionally working on being a grateful person. One of the things I am working on is going out of my way to express gratitude. I still have a lot to learn but I am sincerely grateful for the people in my world and I want to learn to give them the gratitude that they deserve.
Most importantly I am seeing how much more gratitude I need to express to God. He has done so much for me and there have been times when I have expected things from Him, times when I have demanded things from Him, (the whole name it and claim it movement can be quite demanding), times that I have become familiar with all He has done for me. If He has resisted me in the past I don't blame Him. I wouldn't want to be around someone like that either. Please & thank you & other manners probably don't make a difference to God but I use this way of speaking to Him to show Him the respect He deserves from me. It's not about the words though it's about the heart attitude. When I ask for things I ask nicely as a grateful child to a Father. When I sin and ask for forgiveness I am truly grateful for the cross.
The word grace in James 4:6 comes from the Greek word "charis" which means amongst other things, gratitude. So it could read like this; "But He gives more gratitude. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives gratitude to the humble". Perhaps as we humble ourselves before Him will grow an attitude of gratitude?