1 Cor 15:10 “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.”
Only a prideful person would deny or contradict what I am about to say to you, which is this: every person no matter how skilled, gifted, or equipped is still limited in their own overall ability to achieve. 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 people that have contributed to a great work, effort or accomplishment. There may be people that take the glory for great accomplishments but the truth is, there were people that were somehow 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 – often as if it was the result of their singular effort. But, when things start going wrong, all of the sudden the same people that wanted to grab the credit and glory as to 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 in Joshua 1:8 we are told 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.”
Today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “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.”
Paul was a hard worker – in his he worked harder than any of his co-workers and peers. 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) Elijah also felt this way. He said to the Lord twice, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (1 Ki 19:14) The Lord assured him he wasn’t the only one.
When you work hard, it’s easy to fall into this trap. When you have great success it’s easy to think you are the reason. 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. His great work ethic was the grace of God.
So what’s the bottom line? Our successes are a product of the grace of God – even our ability to work harder than others. Knowing that, have patience with those toward those that aren’t gifted with what you are. Their gifting may be entirely different and I assure you that there are those that can do what you can’t. When you know your doing good, don’t pat yourself on the back. Instead give thanks to God for his grace which supernaturally enables us to do the things He has given you to do. That grace is God’s placement of gifting, right motivation, positive attitude, and diligent work ethic within you.
Also, since great work and success always have contributors, be sure to thank God for blessing you with people that help and contribute to your success. This is also a supply of His grace. The acknowledgement of thanks given in true sincerity is perhaps the greatest gift you can give back to those that have helped you in your successes. It will most often rouse and strengthen loyalty and re-fire their momentum to help you further. Because their work has been noticed and acknowledged it will 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. You might publicly thank someone through public memos, or with awards or plaques given at meetings.
Above all, as a representative of the Lord, let them know whether they understand it or not, they are a grace and blessing from God to you and you are thankful, both to them and the Lord! As the Apostle Paul modeled in writing, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.