Your Life Is a Mist

James 4:13–16

What is the pride of life? In this lab, John Piper suggests it’s saying, “This is my life, and I’ll do with it exactly what I please. Not God or anyone else decides what I do with my life. It’s my life.”

Some questions to ask as you read and study James 4:13–16:

  1. Are you someone who schedules everything out or do you just go with the flow? Is there anything potentially wrong with planning?
  2. Why would the Bible say we are being arrogant if we say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” (James 4:13)?
  3. Watch the lab. According to James 4:13–16, what are the assumptions of the prideful person? What are the assumptions of the humble person?

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Principles of Bible Reading


An author often seeks to emphasize what something is by stating what it is and what it is not. There is usually one idea being communicated by two different statements: one denies, and the other affirms. Negative/positive statements are often connected with “not,” “but,” or with no connecting word at all.

For example:

  • “I am telling the truth — I am not lying!” The child with cookie crumbs around his face may protest that he has not been in the cookie jar. He may tell his mother this, and then assure her that he is telling the truth (positively put), restating the same idea by saying that he is not lying (negatively put).