When contending with brute strength, wisdom always triumphs. A young man at a construction site prided himself in his immense strength. He frequently challenged the older men to tests of skill and stamina, and he always managed to win. His ability to dig deeper, carry more in his wheelbarrow, push the wheelbarrow farther and faster, drill better, and talk more (this was obvious) was no secret to them. In fact, the young upstart often made a point of flaunting his abilities before his co-workers.
One day while working on two buildings joined by a glass corridor, the young man overstepped his bounds. He began to brag about his abilities to an older worker, when the worker snapped. “Alright, hotshot! I bet I can bring something over to the other building you can’t bring back.”
The young man shrugged his shoulders. “Okay. What do you want to carry?”
The worker brought a wheelbarrow and said, “Get in!” For all of the young man’s brute strength, he couldn’t surpass the older man’s wisdom.
This illustration shows the futility of pride. Where one man excels, another falters; where the one falters, the other succeeds. For this reason, no one has the right to say he or she is better than anyone else. Certainly none of us have the right to elevate ourselves before God, for the following reasons: 1. He is the One who has given us the qualities which cause us to excel; 2. Our finest abilities are as naught when stood side-by-side with His greatness.
A truly wise and humble Christian will see the true Source of his or her gifts. She will not pretend she lacks ability; he will not deny his success; she will not reject her applause. Rather, each will acknowledge the part God played in helping them succeed. Taking pride in God’s work in our lives is actually humility.
Is it hard for you to take a compliment? Are you quick to dismiss a job well done because you are “too modest or humble”? Take pride in God’s role in your achievement. This pride is a good thing.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.