by Pastor Tim Burt
Do you realize that every person, no matter how skilled, gifted, or equipped, is still limited in their own overall ability to achieve. Only a prideful person would deny or contradict that truth. When it comes to taking credit for great accomplishments, no one, and I mean no one's accomplishments are a result of strictly their own efforts. There are always other contributors. The first contributor is God. And then there are others God brings to help establish a great work, effort or accomplishment. There may be people that take the glory for great accomplishments but the truth is, there were others contributing to that success.
When things are going great and great things are being done, there are always people who want to grab the glory for what's happening and pat themselves on the back as if it was the result of their singular effort. But, when things start going wrong, suddenly, the same people that wanted to grab the credit and glory for what THEY accomplished, are no longer alone in their efforts. They want to suddenly make it a group effort and find others to blame. Things are great—pat me on the back. Things are bad—it's their fault! Funny huh?
God wants us to succeed! How do I know that? Because God's Word tells us that when we will take the time to learn, mediate, and be careful to walk in what God tells us in His Word, then we will have good success. Joshua 1:8 (NIV) "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
There are countless successful people in the Bible that we could look to as an example. The Apostle Paul was one of them. He was a hard worker. From his perspective, he worked harder than any of his co-workers and peers. Given his background, that wasn't a boast but a truth. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10 NIV)
When a person is like this, it is easy for him/her to feel like a martyr. Whoa is me! I am doing all the work and no one else cares as much or works as hard as I do. We see Martha express those feelings to Jesus. She came to Him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (Luke 10:40 NIV)
When you work hard, it's easy to fall into this trap. When you experience great success it's easy to think you are the reason for it. But, as the Apostle Paul said, it wasn't because of his own great ability that he worked hard. It was the grace of God in him that gave him the ability to do any and everything he did. "...No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10 NIV) What is the grace of God? It's many things including His supernatural help! So what's the bottom line? Our successes are a product of the grace of God—even our ability to work harder than others.
The grace is God’s placement of gifting, right motivation, attitude, and work ethic to do good and succeed within you. Not everyone has what you have. Not everyone has been graced with what you have been graced with. Not everyone can do what you do. And you can't expect them to! This is the reason you have to resist and hate pride. It will make you arrogant. It will blind you from seeing the grace or help of God behind your success. Don't use what you have to elevate yourself into pride. Thank God for it! Do all that you do unto the glory of God! Give Him thanks for the grace given you to succeed!
Also, since great work and success always has contributors. This is also a supply of His grace. Give thanks to God but also give thanks to those that contribute to your successes. The acknowledgement of thanks given in true sincerity is perhaps the greatest gift you can give back to them. It will most often arouse and strengthen their loyalty, and refire and encourage even greater effort. All which will again contribute to yours and their further success.
When you do thank them, communicate what it is your really appreciate in the work or contribution they have supplied. Be genuine and let your appreciation be heartfelt. When appropriate, let others hear the appreciation.
Above all, as a representative of the Lord, let them know they are a grace and blessing that you are thankful for. As the Apostle Paul modeled in writing, "How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence." 1 Thessalonians 3:9 (NLT)
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt