April 3, 2021 — Patting Yourself On The Back

“One of my neighbors came over last Saturday and asked if I could help him.” Stan commented one morning.

“What was going on?” I asked.

“He had bought one of those do-it-yourself storage sheds from the Big Box Wholesale Club, and had decided he couldn’t do it by himself after all.”

“Were you able to help him?”

“I was,” Stan replied.  “We spent a couple of hours putting the shed together and we got the job done.  When we were finished, my neighbor said, ‘Thanks, I couldn’t have done it without you’. I told him that’s one of the things neighbors are for!”

Continuing, he added, “Later on I was thinking about what my neighbor had said, and how often I improperly think God should be saying the same thing to me.”

“What same thing?”

“Sometimes, I pat myself on the back too much,” Stan responded.  “I tend to think that God needs me and that He should be saying, ‘Thanks, I couldn’t have done that without you.’”

“And that’s not right?” I asked.

“Not in my view,” Stan replied. “God doesn’t need me.  He’s perfectly capable of accomplishing His will and His purposes without me.  However, although God doesn’t need me, I do think He wants me to be involved in what He’s doing.”

“Okay,” I said, “assuming you have done something that you think God wanted you do, how are you going to respond to Him?”

“In that sort of situation,” he said, “I think my response to God is to be, ‘Thanks for letting me be involved’, not ‘Aren’t you going to tell me you couldn’t have done that without me?’”

Concluding, he added, “When I think I’m necessary to God, maybe even indispensable, I’m headed in the wrong direction and need to get back on track!”

“Time for some confession and repentance?” I asked.

“You’ve got it, my friend!”


Bible verses to consider:

I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.  Romans 12:3.

Do not be wise in your own eyes.  Proverbs 3:7.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for wanting to use me in accordance with your will and purposes, and to be a part of what you are doing.  I confess that too often I tend to think I’m indispensable to you and I want you to tell me you couldn’t have done something without me.  Please forgive all of those self-focused thoughts that lead to patting myself on the back and thinking more highly of myself than you intend. Please open me to see what you are doing and to be willing to join you out of my heartfelt appreciation for all you have done and are doing for me.  Please help me in having only your attitude about being involved in what you have for me on this side of eternity, thankful for being allowed to be involved.  Thank you that I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Have you ever considered yourself to be indispensable to God?  If so, what was that all about?  Do you believe that God wants you to be involved in what He is doing, but that if you choose not to join Him, He will do it anyway?  Why or why not?  What does it mean to “join” God in what He’s doing?  Is that something you would like to do?  Why or why not? If you want to be involved in what God is doing, how is that going to happen?

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