"For promotion (exaltation) cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up (exalts) another." Psalm 75:6-7
I remember when Rebekah and I started dating again, and how I longed to be with her. I knew the only way I could convince my parents to let me move back to Arizona was to look at colleges I could attend here. I was nearing the end of my community college career, and I always dreamed of attending Arizona State University. I know some dream of going to Harvard or Yale, but my goal was to attend ASU. I decided to apply and see where that took me in my college career. I received a letter in the mail several weeks later, and I was accepted into ASU pending my latest transcripts. I know it is not big deal to get accepted into a state school, but I was elated as if I had been granted admission into an Ivy League school. I was excited for ASU and even more excited to be reunited with the love of my life.
I soon moved to Arizona as I anticipated enrolling in school in the fall. I showed up on campus and could not believe I was walking the campus as a student and not just a fan of my favorite college team. When I got my class schedule, I was on top of the world. I had not yet started any classes, but I felt like I had arrived and was immediately more intelligent than anyone else. I went to work and laughed at those who were going to community college even though I had just left community college. I thought I was big stuff until I had to actually take classes.
School was harder than I thought, and I was in love with my girl and not so much with my class assignments. I was challenged in many ways, and I did not step up to the challenge as I should have. I spent the time with Rebekah instead of spending time in the library working on research papers and reading. My arrogance soon dissipated, and I found myself on academic probation. I gave up school for six years until the birth of my son pushed me to go back. I attended school as a new dad, and I was scared to fail, so I applied myself like one who had everything to lose. School seemed to be much easier when I did the homework and applied myself, and I was conferred my bachelor's degree in two years.
I thought I was a big deal until I went to work for a company where a bachelor's degree is a minimum expectation and nothing to boast about. Because of that, I then decided to go for my master's degree. It is easy to get prideful in grades and accomplishments, and forget who gives us the knowledge and opportunity to even go to school. We get lifted up with pride for accomplishments we had little to do with, and we forget the Source of all things. We forget about our God who gives us all things including the skill, brains, health and opportunity to do what we set out to do. We point the finger of accomplishment at our chest instead of pointing it up to the One who is responsible.
What talents has God given you? Are you puffed up with pride about what God has given you or do you give Him the credit? Do you long to be recognized for the things you do for God, or do humbly praise Him for the duties He has given you? God is the One who gives us the opportunity to receive and understand knowledge, but yet, we sometimes allow that to go to our big heads. If God has given us a special skill, knowledge, opportunity or job, then we must give Him the honor and glory instead of giving it to ourselves. God is the source of all knowledge, wisdom, and power, and all glory must be given to Him no matter how high you climb up the ladder. May we not be puffed up with worldly knowledge, but may be filled with the knowledge of the One who graciously gives us all things.