by Pastor Tim Burt
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. Those who pat themselves on the back as if it was the result of their singular effort. But, when things start going wrong, suddenly, the same people who wanted to grab the credit and glory for 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? Not so much!
God wants us to succeed! How do I know that? Because God’s Word tells us that when we will take the time to learn, mediate, and be careful to walk in His instructions, then we will have good success. Joshua 1:8 (NIV) “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
When thinking about success, there’s an abundance of people in the Bible we could look to as an example. The Apostle Paul was one of them. He was a hard worker. From his perspective, he worked harder than any of his co-workers and peers. Given his background, that wasn’t a boast but a truth. He said, “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.” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV)
When a person feels like they work harder than others, it’s easy for them 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 NIV)
When you work hard, it’s easy to fall into this trap. When you experience success it’s easy to think you’re the reason for it. 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. “…No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV) What is the grace of God? It’s many things including God’s supernatural help! So what’s the bottom line? Our successes are a product of the grace of God—His supernatural help to help us go above and beyond what we could do in our own efforts including the ability to work harder than others. This also includes our intellectual, mechanical, physical, and emotional strength or gifting! Without it you would not experience the success you do. And it goes beyond your gifting. It’s gifting AND prayer. Prayer contributes to timing, resources, His favor with others, and so much more. The grace of God and prayer combined with the right motivation and efforts can turn anyone or any group of people into a powerhouse that helps success happen.
Not everyone has what you have. Not everyone has been graced with what you have been graced with. Not everyone can do what you do. And you can’t expect them to! You have your gifting and they have theirs. And, since great work and success always has contributors, appreciate and share the joy of success with them. Appreciate what they bring to the table. It will most often arouse and strengthen their loyalty, and refire and encourage even greater effort. You’ll help create an atmosphere of champions and you’ll appreciate each other even more. All which will again contribute to yours and their further success. Most of all, give thanks to God—always and in all things. It will remind you who is truly behind the success you experience. The acknowledgement of thanks to God-given in true sincerity, and to one another is the greatest gift you can give back to God and to them.
Philippians 2:2 (TLB) “Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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