Current Insight for Living

The Peril of Playing God

Artwork for James: Hands-On Christianity

In coming to an end of the fourth chapter, James dealt directly with a common problem among Christians—“playing God.” Having just exposed our tendency to be self-assertive and quarrelsome (4:1-10), he went a step further and showed a couple of the more familiar ways we assert an arrogant spirit. The first has to do with the way we often view others…and the second has to do with the way we often view ourselves. In the first section (4:11-12) James dealt with our tendency to take the place of God in others’ lives as we judge or criticize them. In the second section (4:13-16), he dealt with our tendency to take the place of God in our own lives as we presume or boast in ourselves.