False Versus True Humility
"Clothe yourself with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"1
Somewhat related to arm-twisting for God are those situations where somebody has a song, a poem, or an article they have written that they want to have published. They state clearly that it wasn't their creation but, rather, God gave it to them and they want him to have all the glory. I think that God sometimes, but not always, doesn't want the glory for some of these creations!
Writing in Christianity Today some time ago, Eutychus also felt that there are times when God gets more credit than he wants.
For example, "A boxer once credited the Lord for helping him punch his opponent into the Twilight Zone. Then there was the football player who made a diving, juggling catch in the end zone. His explanation of the stellar effort mentioned nothing about his speed, agility, coordination, and training: It was God who made that catch."
Humility has nothing to do with not appreciating what you have worked hard to achieve. Certainly, we want to thank God for the talents he has given us, but, among other things, genuine humility is being realistic about what you have achieved and being able to equally rejoice in another's achievements.
Furthermore, to claim God gave me a poem or an article as a means to get my creation accepted for publication isn't humility either. It's lying. I've written a few things in my life that have been published (and a few that have been rejected), and for whatever talent I may have been given, I give God the glory for that.
At the same time writing to be published for me is hard work and what I write about has mostly come from a lifetime of experiences, many of them very painful. This is probably true for most writers who have something of value to say. Yes, there are times of inspiration but mostly it's only about five percent inspiration and ninety-five percent perspiration. God may give us the five percent but the rest is up to us. He gives us the basic talent but it is our responsibility to be trained so that what we do say and write will hopefully bring glory to God. And that may be best left for others to judge.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I thank you for the gifts and talents you have given to me. Help me to be responsible with these gifts, develop them to the best of my ability, and use them truly for your glory. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Peter 5:5 (NIV).
By Dick Innes