"But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us..." - 2 Corinthians 7:6a (NIV)
I've been known to pat myself on the back a time or two for things I've succeeded at or accomplished. I get puffed up with pride at some of the things I've done. But the talents, abilities and knowledge that have allowed me to be successful in certain areas of my life aren't my own....they're gifts from God. So the credit for my successes belongs to Him first...NOT ME!
When I take credit for the things I do, I'm short-changing God. I'm not being obedient or humble. I'm usually full of pride and puffed up with my own self-worth. That's completely wrong. When I look at things realistically, I usually haven't accomplished things on my own. God has always opened the door, put people into my life that I learn from, put me in the place where I was able to succeed. It's never been by luck or coincidence...it's always been by God. The credit for every good thing in my life belongs first and foremost to the Lord. Secondly, to all those in my life who have taught me, encouraged me, pushed me and believed in me. And, lastly, to myself.
Jesus gave credit where credit is due. In John 8:54 (NIV) He said, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me." If Jesus gave credit to His Father first, then who am I to take the credit for what I accomplish?
Jesus also tells us in Matthew 5:5 (NIV) that "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth". Not the proud, not the puffed up, not the self important but the meek and humble. My devotional says it best, I think: "There is no such thing as a self-made person. All of us are made by God." He created us, He loves us, He comforts us, He forgives us, He shows us grace and mercy, He heals us, He protects us....He deserves the credit for anything great that happens in our lives....in my life. God...I lift up my hands and my heart and give You all the credit, honor and glory for my life. That's where it's due.
"It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparison with what we owe others." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Awesome God, You are the reason I'm able to do the things I do. Only through the gifts You've bestowed on me am I able to achieve success. May I never take the credit for Your accomplishments, Lord. You are due the honor and glory first, above all else. May I be Your humble and obedient servant. In Jesus' name, Amen.