The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of September 7
“But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me – and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
When things are going well for us, we tend to credit ourselves and our own efforts. And yet, as Paul reminds us in his First Letter to the Corinthians, it is God’s abundant and ever-flowing grace and love that is behind everything good and positive thing we both do and receive. All our accomplishments, successes and even our good deeds are the result of God’s blessings and His grace – we can’t take credit for any of it. Who we are and who we have become is not simply a product of our own good work, but rather, the result of God working through each one of us.
We see a bit of Paul’s humanity in this verse as he reminds the Corinthians that he has worked harder than any of the other apostles. As we catch a brief glimpse of Paul’s pride, we are reminded that he is human like the rest of us. Like us, Paul wrestled with a desire to be noticed and affirmed for his successes and hard work. And yet, in the very next breath, Paul also acknowledges to both himself and to us that he cannot, in fact, pat himself on the back. All credit goes to God alone.
This Labor Day, as we celebrate and honor the contributions we have made to our families, our communities and our nation through our work, let us also remember the real source of our strength and success. We give thanks and praise to our God, who makes everything possible.
Gracious God, give me a humble spirit so that I may always remember that it’s You who works through me to accomplish good work in Your kingdom on Earth. Amen.