Roots of recession: The arrogance of our age

James 4:13–17


Recession! The word sends chills up the businessman's back. A recession consists of two consecutive down quarters in the gross national product. James, in his epistle, is less interested in an economic recession than he is in a spiritual recession which is plaguing many homes and hearts today.

A recession can be defined as “a withdrawal, a period of reduced activity.” The roots of spiritual recession are the same as the roots of economic recession. According to James 4:13-17, these roots are threefold.

I. Foolish presumptions (13,16)

The man described here lives as if tomorrow will never come. He is motivated by money and greed.

II. Forgotten perspectives (14)

Life has its uncertainties. James asks, “What is your life?” Life has its certainties. “It appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”

III. Forsaken priorities (15-17)

James calls upon us to get our priorities in order. Some have forsaken the priority of God’s will (15) and God’s way (17).


Economic or spiritual recession is rooted in three areas. We should use a telescope to look at length upon foolish presumptions. We use a periscope to come into closer range to examine forgotten perspectives. And if we look closer with a microscope we will see that recessions of the heart are rooted in forsaken priorities.

Take James’ advice and do not make foolish presumptions about tomorrow. And to avoid spiritual recession maintain a proper perspective upon life and keep your priorities in order. Guard against the arrogance of our age.


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