Who deserves all the praise and glory? God, right? Do we deserve any of it? NO! Why is it that we feel we do then? Why do we always seek to claim praise and glory? Aside from our sinful nature, it is because we are comparing ourselves to other humans, and in that instant we might have done something in our lives better than another human.
Now, let me ask: Have you ever felt really good about how something turned out, only to later find you totally messed it up? What happened? All too often we aren’t good enough to understand what good is. It reminded me of these three examples:
- A friend of mine had a son who was the best in the state of Kentucky at one point for his discipline of martial arts. He told us once that when someone gets to black belt, they begin to realize that they have only started to understand karate. What? Black belts are experts, right? NO! They are people who finally have enough knowledge to see how little they know.
- When I first took up photography, I really thought I had a natural eye. I thought that even though I wasn’t as good as the great photographers, I could compete. As a means of seeking affirmation of my greatness, I posted some pictures on a photography forum full of professionals. The resounding sound I heard was something like, “You aren’t even to the point we can help you yet. You need to learn the basics.” This infuriated me. After all, I could plainly see that I was taking high-quality shots! It is only now, years and years later, that I see how poor my work was then.
- I have played chess much of my life, but it was only after I was an adult that I really took it up. A friend of mine at that time, a guy I worked with, purchased a dedicated handheld chess machine. We would play this on the highest level, because obviously we were that good. Of course, the machine would beat us terribly! The funny thing was we thought the machine was cheating! Why? Because we weren’t even good enough to understand how the machine was checkmating us! It was only sometime later that we realized how foolish we had been.
So how does this apply to us? If we think we have done something good or praiseworthy, it is only because we have yet to gain the maturity to understand how far from good we are. There is only one example of good – that is God. If we think we have done something good, it is because we are only comparing ourselves to other broken, imperfect humans. Once we gain that maturity, it is then that we see the only one who deserves our praise and glory is God, and we would be best if we humbly avoided praise for our good deeds, for they are nothing in comparison to what He did for us.