“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”Psalm 8:4-5
I was enjoying an evening at home when I received a text from a Christian brother who serves as an intern at church and leads the men’s prayer breakfast. He invites the men to get together every so often on a Saturday for fellowship and good food. I do not attend as I should as I do not like to get up early on Saturdays. The brother who sent the text was asking me if I would be willing to share a challenge at the breakfast. He gave me the date which happened to be on April 1, which immediately caused me to raise an eyebrow. I asked him if he was serious, and he laughed and told me he was. I was taken aback by the invitation as it is a great honor to share God’s Word to the men of the church.
I put my phone down and I started to think to myself about this opportunity, and I became excited. I typically get to share the Word at our addictions ministry every Friday, but I was being asked to speak to a much larger crowd than I had preached to in quite some time. I attended a small church when I was younger where I was given opportunities to preach before, but the crowd was not large and it had been quite some time. The first time I was asked to preach a message, I prepared and my father-in-law came to see me and my grand oration lasted a total of eight minutes. The parishioners were not sad to get out early, but I would say no one was confusing me with the “Prince of Preachers”, Charles Spurgeon. I sat in my easy chair after accepting this opportunity, and my head began to swell a little bit as I thought of the exposure this would bring.
I thought of those who would hear me speak, and I was smiling like a dog given a steak bone. While these thoughts flooded my mind, God smote me of my pride, and I bowed my head and asked for forgiveness. How foolish I was to lift up myself and not lift up my God. I was asked by my brother to be a blessing to the men, which would not happen if I lifted up myself instead of lifting up the One who has given me everything. I told my wife and confessed to her my foolishness and sin, and I slept well as I lay my head on the pillow that night. I woke up to do my daily devotions, and I just so happened to be reading through the book of Psalms when I came across this verse. God spoke to my heart to share this with the brothers. I thought deeply about the words spoken in this Psalm of David, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
Sadly, it does not take much for us to be puffed up due to our foolish thinking. We get a praise from someone or a pat on the back, and we think we have done something special. We do not acknowledge the One who has given us the talent, skill, and opportunity. We think we have done something in and of ourselves, and we give glory to ourselves instead of the One who is solely responsible. It has been said that we should die to criticism and to die to praise. One can makes us bitter and the other can fill us with pride. I think back to all the times I have failed because I was filled with pride, and I still struggle with the issue of pride in my life. I get offended at times, and I think of myself higher than I should. Genesis 2:7 states, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” All that I am is due to my Creator, and one day I will return to the dust from which I was created.
Where are you today friend? Have you lifted up yourself when you should have lifted up God? Has God blessed you with a talent or skill for which you take full credit for? Has He blessed with you a physical characteristic for which you stare in the mirror and praise yourself? How about a position at work that God has blessed you with? Have you thanked Him for what He has blessed you with? May we be quick to give Him the honor and glory He is due.