The One Question That Creates Humility and Thankfulness

dance

What do you have that you did not receive? 1 Corinthians 4:7

Meditating on this truth goes a long way toward producing humility and thankfulness in us. All that we know about God we received as a gift, either from God or from others. Our knowledge of God comes primarily from Scripture. We didn’t write it or print it or distribute the Bible. God gave his word to Moses and Isaiah and Matthew and Paul, who wrote it down. Others distributed it, translated it, printed it. Eventually God’s word came to us. Maybe someone witnessed to us or we heard a preacher or someone gave us a Bible. But all we know of God is ultimately a gift from God and others.

Our talents, our ability to think, our eyes, ears, hands, fingers - all a gift from God. If you can read this you are using hundreds of blessings he has heaped on you. The other day I was racking my brain to try to remember something I hadn’t thought about for months. Suddenly it popped into my mind. Where in the world does memory come from? What a miracle. Our brain – a mass of flesh – can store immaterial information, then recall it. My 95 year old dad is in a personal care facility, highly medicated for pain and out of it
much of the time, will sing along if you start singing “Dancing Cheek to Cheek,” a song written by Irving Berlin in 1935, sung by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1935 movie Top Hat. How does that work? What a gift memory is. (And what a gift is Google, which I used to look up the song.)

Our incomes, jobs, our homes – all gifts from God. “But I worked hard to get my degree, applied myself, worked hard – that’s how I got where I am.” Who gave you your intelligence to study? Who gave you diligence? Who made the opportunities for you to advance? All you have is a gift.

All we have we were given. The country we were born in, the language we speak, the educational opportunities – we didn’t make
those for ourselves. Hey Mr. Proud Peacock, nice feathers you’re strutting around showing off. Who gave you those? Did you make them yourself?

What do you have that you did not receive? Think about this today. Turn it into thankfulness and humility before your generous King.

  • dave

    Best resource to teach this to children is “Fool Moon Rising”.

  • Joe

    Thanks mark

  • Maria Ciotti Versace

    Thanks, Mark, this is the attitude we all need to keep in the front of our thinking!

  • lisa

    Yes, Fool Moon Rising is a great book!
    Mark, thank you for writing this and for modeling it too. Such a different attitude from that of an athlete I saw on tv last night…
    (If my Daddy were still with us, he could’ve told you the info on the song and you wouldn’t have had to google it.) :-)

  • ParisBisou

    Was it a coincidence that the song starts with…Heaven, I’m in Heaven