About Me

My photo
Bedford, Texas, United States
Pastor of Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Bedford, Texas and former Professor of Old Testament. But mostly I am a husband of an amazing wife, father of gifted children, and servant of an AWESOME God.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Greatest Accomplishments Surrounding My Life, I Can’t Take Any Credit For!

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14, ESV.

Some lessons are not fun to learn and often have to be learned over and over again. For me, humility is one of those lessons. You see, recently I have been going through what can be best described as a pity-party. Although some really wonderful things were happening around me, I wasn't able to get excited about them because the attention I thought I deserved wasn't coming at the level or in the ways I thought it should.

The thoughts that kept coming to mind during this period centered on all the things that I had accomplished and why the people I longed to notice them didn't seem to be able to. Why wasn't I good enough for them? After all, I had an earned doctorate, I am a published author, I have great kids who are respectful and accomplished (so I must be a great father), I am good at what I do…people should see me for what I am!

And that is the issue right there, isn't it? People do so often see us for what we are, or what we aren't; we just don’t like to admit what that is. For me, that is a somewhat self-centered, arrogant man who wanted credit for things that either really don’t matter or for which I deserved no credit.

What is interesting about this lesson is that it happened during a time of great things in both my personal and professional life occurring. Things that were tempting to try to take credit for. When I coupled those great things, however, with my own perceptions of unnoticed greatness, I allowed it to lead me down the path of questioning God, expressing self-doubt, and even distrusting people who I knew deep down really loved and cared for me.

Now, my tentative conclusion about the lack of attention is that it is a result of a need to learn a lesson in humility. Last night my youngest accepted Jesus as his Savior! As I reflected on his decision both last night and today I began to think about how glorious and wonderful the fact is that all of my children had given their life to Christ. I also began to think about how it is not just our own salvation that we can’t boast in (Ephesians 2:8-9), but also those where we were the instruments God chose to use to draw someone to Himself. Finally, I came to realize that all the things in life that really matter, that are the greatest accomplishments surrounding my life, are things for which I really can’t take any credit.

Many things we accomplish in life are the result of hard work. These things do in fact add to life’s enjoyment and to being able to do other wonderful things. So understand, I am not talking about taking a fatalistic tact on life or being lazy. Nor am I talking about being self-loathing or even self-depreciating. I am talking about having the healthy understanding that comes from the recognition that the greatest gifts in life - faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13) are not things we create, but things we are given by God. I am talking about being able to keep the temporal things of this world in the proper perspective next to the eternal things of God. I am talking about knowing what the greatest things in life are and knowing that those things are not ours to claim credit for. Then, when we don’t receive the attention we think we deserve. When we don’t get the rewards that we think are ours. Then we can respond with graciousness and by pointing others to the One who has accomplished those great things and we can find joy in the wonderful things, both temporal and eternal, that are happening around us. To God alone be the Glory!

My new brother in Christ and me (from a few years ago) - it's one of my favorite pictures of all time:


and here he is last Easter

1 comment:

JB said...

Amen! (Slow clap) You are appreciated and I am truly blessed to be able to see the LORD working through you at our church.
So excited for J-man!