It amazes me how society will esteem people because of their social connections, education, career successes, and financial status. I wonder how different life would be if we all acquired a perspective that recognizes God as the giver of all things. The assignment on your life. The gifts and talents that you have. The goals that you have accomplished. It’s all much bigger than you are.
God gave him those divine connections. God granted her the education. God opened the door for him to have a successful career. God gave her financial prosperity. It had nothing to do with the person. Whatever God has blessed us with, we must remember two things:
1) Acknowledge God for what He has given us. He’s not a respecter of persons, so we cannot boast about deserving what we have. He gives out of his own goodness.
2) The gift is so much bigger than you think it is. So what if people admire you for what you have. Did you ever consider that God gave to you so that you might be a blessing to others? Might it be that God gave you an educated mind so that you could create systemic change?
I thought of this when I read about the miracle that Peter performed in Acts 3. A man had been crippled since birth, and Peter healed his body and enabled him to walk. After he’d been healed, the man began walking, jumping, and praising God (see Acts 3:7-8). What caught my attention is how the people treated Peter differently after the miracle took place.
“While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them…When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” ~Acts 3:11-12
The people treated Peter and John like celebrities. I like the way Peter asks them why they reacted the way that they did. If you read a little further, he tells the people that the man was healed by the power of Jesus (see Acts 3:16).
What do we learn from this? If people praise us for the gifts that God has placed within us, we are to state clearly that the power that we operate with is not of our own. We should also point people back to God. Deflect the praise that is given to you back to God.
As we influence the sphere that God has placed us in, may we be mindful of the true source of our power. Our work is so much bigger than we are. Rather than get drunk off the accolades and praises from people, we need to make sure that we are careful to point people to God. You never know whose soul might be saved because of it.