“Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap. Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success” - Rick Pitino
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” - Harry S. Truman
Growing up in church, it was amazing to witness the two different types of people in regard to receiving credit. There have always been those who seem to get offended and very upset if their due credit is not given. Even if the act was rather insignificant, it had better be recognized. On the flip side, there are also those who almost seem indifferent to credit altogether. Many do huge acts of service or make great sacrifices and seek no acknowledgement at all. They see it as an honor to serve, give, and go; not a sacrifice.
Even if you are not in leadership at church, I’m sure you have seen the stark difference between this two groups of people. What would be the motivation for someone who desires accolades for everything they do? Why would someone serve selflessly and seek no credit? What is God’s opinion on the matter?
Joseph is one of the most brilliant examples of humility and deferring credit to where credit is due. Truly, Joseph was the human instrument used to save not only Egypt, but much of the world from famine. If he had not interpreted the dream and giving wise council based on that dream, many people would have died. Joseph has been elevated to the second position in Egypt, the only greater than him is Pharaoh. No doubt he was a respected, honored, and feared man in Egypt.
We do not see a man who elevates himself or his accomplishments though. Instead we see a humble man who defers the praise to God. All accolades seem to be funneled through the filter of God in his life. Joseph has a deep understanding that he could have done nothing without God. God allowed all the events of his life to transpire to bring him to the place he could be greatly used of God, how can he rightly take the credit.
It can become easy for us become focused on ourselves and our reception (or lack thereof) of praise. It feels good to be recognized for the good we do, but too often we seek that applause to our detriment. How are you doing in that department? When you do good, when you sacrifice, when you serve, do you seek the compliments and recognition of others? If praise is withheld for your good does it offend and upset you? What matters more, the smile of God or the applause of others?
The next time God gives you the great opportunity to good to others and bring glory to His name, do just that, allow Him to receive all the glory. Defer the praise to Him who indeed is worthy. This is not a plea for false humility, but rather an appeal to truly be humble and concede praise to its rightful place.
Daily Scripture Reading
Genesis 41 - 42
(Follow this Scripture Reading Plan to accompany this devotion and read through your Bible in a year)
“And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”