Wednesday, June 4, 2014
For example, in the industry I work in, construction, we like to design and build nice looking buildings. We build them "our way" and then we like to stand back and admire our accomplishments afterwards - confirming our skills as architects and contractors. There are entire magazines devoted to nicely designed buildings (Architectural Digest to name one). We are so proud of what we do. (Insert story about the Tower of Babel here).
Similarly, there are award shows on television. They basically do the same thing we do. They design and build TV shows and then the networks like to tell us how good they are by awarding themselves with Emmy's - confirming what they thought all along. They thought themselves worthy of praise. Nice.
Remember Muhammad Ali? His most famous tag line was "I Am The Greatest." And he let everyone know it. But should we be boastful? Should we be proud of ourselves?
There are actually some GOOD award ceremonies though. CNN's Heroes Awards (See video below) awards people who are making a difference in the world. We also have the National Honor Society to reward smart kids who do well in school. But all these are just other ways for us to reward our own achievements. Is that what we should be about as Christians?
There is nothing wrong with being proud of someone else's achievements. Some people struggle through an addiction or a divorce or some sin that holds them captive. To see them emerge on the other side of things, alive, can be a source of pride in our lives. That's a good kind of pride I guess. Proud of someone else. Being proud of ourselves is never a good thing. Still, all that being said, I still think we are missing the point.
"16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." - James 1:16-18
I wonder what the world would be like if we took the time we spend honoring ourselves and spent it honoring God. What is we awarded makers of movies who brought the most honor to God. What if the buildings we build honored God. Would those buildings be large and grandiose or should they be simple and humble with the majority of the project budget going to help the widow and the orphan.
School boards, for the most part, do not allow students to thank God in their valedictorian speeches. But what if we denied "the world" and honored God anyway. What if we spent our time honoring those who have sacrificed all for God and country. What if we quit thinking about ourselves and focused on what is REALLY important - God . . . and others . . . but mostly . . . God.
"12 But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's area of influence. 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends." - 2 Corinthians 12-18
Watch this video. These men, Superbowl champions, praise God rather than themselves.
Superbowl Players Honor God