Acts 12:21-23 “And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
Some passages in the Bible make me wonder. The account of Ananias and Sapphira is one, and the immediate judgment of Herod here is another.
They have in common the selfishness, greed, and pride that was the ruination of them all. If such things happened today, might we act differently? Would we be more honest about our commitments? More humble in whom we give the credit?
Often, most of these acts have, at its core, a simple need. We all want to know we are loved, accepted, and secure. We want to see that we make a difference in someone’s life. We want to have a purpose, to make an impact.
When allowed to use our gifts and talents, we become valuable to another person, to the place they are grateful, and sometimes feel a great sense of indebtedness. Some may lavish praise on us and how we handle that praise is vital.
There are some core principles to pushing back the pride that may rise in these situations. My Creator has given me gifts and talents for His purpose.
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Anything good you see, hear, or receive from me is not self-generated, it has all come from my Heavenly Father and is for His glory, not mine.
To step into the spotlight of praise and receive it for me would be devilish.
Pride originated in Lucifer, now Satan. It was found in his heart when he mistook the job and responsibility given him as the one to be worshipped as opposed to the One who created him, gifted him, and set him up in a position of great responsibility.
Isaiah 14:12-17 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?”
In this passage, we find the five “I will”s of Satan; the culmination of pride in his heart was revealed against the God of Heaven to take over his place, his position, his power, and his praise.
Not only is pride present, but we become liars against the truth.
John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
As saved children of God, we have the opportunity to shine the light of the gospel into corners darkened by sin. When someone tells us we are kind, we can say;
“I am not kind, but the kindness you receive is from my Heavenly Father.”
Jesus gave us an example as well:
Luke 18:19 “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.”
Putting praise in its proper light or shining the spotlight on the One who truly deserves the credit, will open opportunities to draw others to Christ. The light will not shine as bright or shine as long as we are the ones seeking glory.
Satan fell like lightning, Ananias and Sapphira fell dead, and Herod was eaten of worms. I genuinely fear enough to allow God to get the praise and the glory He so rightly deserves. Who are we to be any different?