“WE ARE SUFFICIENT OF OURSELVES TO THINK ANYTHING OF OURSELVS; BUT OUR SUFFICIENCY IS OF GOD” (2 Corin. 3:5)”
That verse of scripture above is a most profound truth stated by the Apostle Paul that we all, especially those of us who are Christians who have been born from above must never forget.
When things are going well for us, our bills are paid, we have many friends and find it difficult to think of someone who does not like us, we have our health, no pain in our body and each organ seem to be functioning well, etc., it is very easy to forget that each and every day we owe our existence to the God who created us.
Those among us who have been particularly blessed with what seems to be greater gifts of knowledge, skills or other abilities that seem to excel over those abilities of others, hold that dubious distinction of being even more prone to think more of themselves than they should. But I caution you, please apply yourselves to defeating that thought, for it is a most unpleasant thing to God. You see, it is a kind of pride that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-17, 8:13,)
And so, we are instructed by Paul in Romans 12:2 to keep our egos in check:
“FOR I SAY, THROUGH THE GRACE GIVEN TO ME, TO EVERY MAN THAT IS AMONG YOU, NOT TO THINK OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK; BUT TO THINK SOBERLY, ACCORDING AS GOD HAS DEALT TO EVERY MAN THE MEASURE OF FAITH”.
Paul further expands the divine prohibition against ego-tripping when he warns against comparing ourselves with each other in a competitive manner, that leads to a superiority complex.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corin. 10:12)
There is truly no reason for any of us to feel superior to others for any reason since all of our ability (that some of us may think makes us so important), comes from God. Jesus said “WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING”
James tried to remind us that our life is nothing more than “A MIST THAT APPEARS BUT FOR A MOMENT AND THEN VANISHES AWAY”
And a dear friend of mine, Dr. Johnny James has often said that in Genesis 2:7 The Bible tells us that God “FORMED MAN OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND”, and you know what happens to dust when it gets stuck on itself, it becomes MUD. So, indeed, we have no reason to boast.
And what of those who have been blessed with an abundance of money and are as they say, well off. Surely they have a right to boast don’t they? Not at all, you see, God has much to say to them as well.
Kind David while giving thanks in prayer to God during the offering time, made this profound statement to deflate any among them who felt that by giving much, they were deserving of some great reconditions or honor.
“BUT WHO AM I, AND WHAT IS MY PEOPLE, THAT WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO OFFER SO WILLINGLY AFTER THIS SORT? FOR ALL THINGS COME OF YOU, AND OF YOUR OWN HAVE WE GIVEN YOU. ALL THIS STORE THAT WE HAVE PREPARED ....COMES OF YOUR HAND, AND IS ALL YOUR OWN” (1 Chronicles 29:14, 16)
Did you get that? I know it is difficult to wrap around that massive ego of some who suffer from pride due to their abundance, but David puts things in perspective when he reminds us that everything we have that we give to God, ALREADY BELONGS TO HIM. What amazing kindness that God would allow us to give Him what already belongs to Him, and still bless us for doing so.
This is why Paul told Timothy to warn the believers who were rich not to be high minded, “NOR TRUST IN UNCERTAIN RICHES, BUT IN THE LIVING GOD, WHO GIVES US RICHLY ALL THINGS TO ENJOY. THAT THEY DO GOOD WORKS, THAT THEY BE RICH IN GOOD WORKS, READY TO DISTRIBUTE, WILLING TO COMMUNICATE; LAYING UP IN STORE FOR THEMSELVES A GOOD FOUNDATION AGAINST THE TIME TO COME, THAT THEY MAY LAY HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE”. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
While rebuking the Church of Corinth for their division and people praise, Paul reminded them that everything each of them had by way of knowledge, they got it from an outside source from themselves, saying:
“..WHAT DO YOU HAVE THAT YOU DID NOT RECEIVE? NOW IF YOU DID RECEIVE IT, WHY DO YOU GLORY, AS IF YOU HAD NOT RECEIVED IT?” (1 Corin. 4:7)
Earlier Jesus said in JOHN 3:27 that “A MAN CAN RECEIVED NOTHING, EXCEPT IT BE GIVEN HIM FROM HEAVEN”.
Our pastor is a wonderful example of balance when it comes to handling success; although he is a celebrity, he does not permit his success to interfere with his calling as a Christian. While he encourages us to be successful financially, educationally and spiritually, he also reminds us of our obligation to God to be first and foremost, examples of the believer. When he speaks of his success, it is always in the context of God’s grace and mercy and never as a boast of what he has accomplished on his own.
Whatever we are that is good, and whatever we do well, all praise belongs to God and not ourselves or others, we must be example of gratitude to the most High.
We should never allow arrogance and pride to rob us of our reward from God.