For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)
I don’t want to be doing that. You don’t want to do be doing what? I don’t want to be boasting about who I am or what I have done. Why is that? I have no reason to boast. Why do you have no reason to boast? Everything I am and hope to be comes from you. Everything I have done or will do has come from you. You have uniquely created me as I am. You have given me specific gifts, talents and abilities with which you have made me able to serve you. You have guided me to where you have wanted me to go. You have given me what you have wanted me to. I can do nothing of lasting and eternal value without your making me able to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans. So, I can’t boast. But I can give you thanks and praise and honor and glory for all your goodness to me. You have richly blessed my life. I have found great joy in loving, following and serving you. That is very good. It brings me pleasure to hear your thankfulness.
However, you have not said enough. What more can I say? Tell me about the danger of comparing yourself with others. There lies a great danger. If I were to compare myself with others, I might begin to think I am better than others and become proud and boastful. I might even begin to think that I am the source of who I am or what I have done. Then I would not give you the thanks and praise and honor and glory you richly deserve. Is that the only possibility? No, certainly not. The other possibility is equally dangerous. If I were to compare myself with others, I might think that others are far better and more gifted than myself. Then I might become jealous and envious and resentful. I might even begin to covet who others are or what they have been given. Then for quite different reasons, I would not give you the thanks and praise and honor and glory you richly deserve. Both a prideful boastful attitude and a jealous and envious, covetous attitude are not pleasing to you. No, they are not. Both of these wrong attitudes would short circuit your work in and through my life. Both of these improper attitudes would make me unable to bear fruit for your kingdom or bring glory to your name. That’s true. So, I will focus on giving thanks and praise and glory and honor to you for the way that you are, have been and will continue to do your work in and through me. That will be very good.
Lord, there is nothing I have received that has not come from you. There is nothing I have done of value that you have not made me able to accomplish. I give you praise for the way you have been, are, and will be working in and through me for your glory. Amen
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