Tuesday, July 16, 2002

When we're out to eat, we like to bring a little light-heartedness into the life of the person who is serving our table. My wife suggests that I'm on the "10 Most Wanted List" of waitresses, but I'm just trying to put a little fun in their day. For example, I tell her we can't order because we don't know her name - my mother told me never to talk to strangers. That helps us get acquainted. Later, when she checks back with us, she'll often ask, "Is your dinner okay?" And I like to say, "Oh, it sure is! You're a great cook." She'll get all flustered and usually answer, "Oh, I don't cook your dinner - I just serve it."

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Only Passing It On."

The waitress is right. As much as I appreciate her service, she does not get the credit for the great dinner I'm eating. She's just passing on the good work that someone else did. So are we - as we score our victories, touch some lives, accomplish some good things. We are only serving up what someone else actually has done - what God has done.

Which makes any pride or sense of superiority totally inappropriate. Imagine if, after I compliment our waitress on what a great cook she is, she said, "Well, thank you very much. I've worked hard to be able to prepare food that so many people like. I'm glad you appreciate what I've done." She would be totally out of touch with reality. She'd be stealing the credit that belongs only to the cook. Sounds ridiculous, but that's exactly what we do all too often as we get proud and inflated over what we have done - when, in fact, "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father." (James 1:17) Our pride is stealing the glory from the only One who deserves it. The One who says, "I am the Lord. I will not give My glory to another."

In 1 Corinthians 4:7, God asks two probing questions that expose the foolishness of human pride. It's our word for today from the Word of God. "Who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" Anything you or I do that's good, any ability or opportunity we have, any success we have enjoyed is a gift from God, not a personal achievement.

We need to regularly let God give us a spiritual x-ray to see if any of that cancer of pride has started to grow in us. Look, you can be proud of your qualifications, your education, your experience, your resume, your ability, your important connections, your achievements. If you've gotten a little inflated over any of those, if you feel just a little superior to others, if you find yourself saying, "I'm really something" instead of "God's really something" - well, according to God's Word, you're headed for a reality check from heaven. You're headed for a fall.

Peter says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." If you want God against you, you just start thinking you're something ... just start promoting yourself. "Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand," Peter says, "that He may lift you up in due time." (1 Peter 5:5-6) If you lift yourself up, God will bring you down. If you humble yourself, God will lift you up. And He can do it much better than you can.

So quit thinking or acting as if you're the one producing your success. You are serving up what God has done - and He gets all the glory!



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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