Brothers | Losing It | Taking Credit
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights… (James 1:17)
“I’m a self-made man,” said Bubba. “I took this little plot of dirt and built an empire.” Rex nodded. “Yep. Me too. My sons and I worked our tails off to turn our little five-and-dime store into the nationwide chain it is today. Nobody’d better mess with us, huh?” Rex and Bubba are only expressing what most of us think on a smaller scale. When we’ve worked hard, studied hard, or planned hard and succeeded, self-congratulations feel deserved. So we splurge a little, brag a little, and if we’re decent, give a little to charity. We may even give God a little nod, but inside, we’re quite impressed with ourselves. We may even feel a nudge of anger toward anyone who doesn’t see it like we do. We get so focused on the gifts that we ignore Giver of those gifts.
So God has to slap us out of our self-worshiping comas by reminding us that every good thing in our lives is a gift from Him. Did Bubba create the rain and sunshine that made his crops grow? Did Rex provide the health, energy, and opportunities that brought his fortune? Who gave him sons that were smart and able to work? Hard work and dedication are important contributions we make toward our goals, but when we forget to be grateful to God, we ignore a vital part of our success. Gratefulness keeps us centered. It also keeps anger at bay when we realize success is not ours to protect. We’re not so prone to make idols out of our dreams. Every good thing in life is an undeserved gift from our Creator. Don’t forget to thank Him.
Final Thought: How much credit do you take for the successes God has given you? Keep James 1:17 in mind.
Prayer: Father, I’m more prideful than I like to admit. Part of my anger comes from when others don’t appreciate or admire what I’ve done. Please forgive my arrogant bragging. Thank you for all you’ve done to help me make it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.