“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
A Different Perspective
“Go on, you deserve the credit. Let people know what you did!” These were Diane’s words to her co-worker. Even though Bob just completed an important project ahead of schedule and under budget, he was reluctant to put himself in the spot light. He preferred to stand in the background because he found satisfaction in just doing his job well. Diane was the exact opposite. She loved the attention. This is why she told Bob to take credit for what he had done. Her plan was to ride his coat tails and receive some of the accolades. This is also why she became frustrated and replied, “Don’t you care if no one knows what you did!” Bob humbly mused, “I only did my job.”
Diane’s fascination with praise and frustration with the lack of it offers a valuable insight in my life. It is easy to want the commendation of others, and there is a certain satisfaction with the recognition of one’s peers. Unfortunately, this desire for praise can affect my spiritual life. There is a temptation to think God should be impressed by the things I have done.
The lesson Jesus taught about humility stands in stark contrast to the way many think. People like praise. People like recognition. People like to hear how good they are. I am no different.
While I may try to boast about what I have done, I need to remember it is the Lord who sets the standard. I may do many good things, yet none achieve perfection. So the lesson holds true: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.” When I compare my deeds with the Lord’s desire for perfection, I can only hang my head in shame. It is impossible for me to attain his perfect standard. Jesus, however, offers a different perspective.
Jesus came to this earth; he took on my flesh and blood to accomplish what was impossible for me. With his death and resurrection, he also made God’s declaration of perfection a reality. Now, instead of looking to myself and promoting what I have done, I look to Jesus and rejoice in his completed work that exalts me.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 125):
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God.
All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.
Source: WELS Devotions