The other night I saw some tweets that caught my attention. They posed questions about Christian women achieving success which apparently is a bit of a controversial subject in some circles. Emily McFarlan Miller was the gate keeper of this rabbit hole to enlightenment into which I ventured. Some of the debate pitched celebrating success against being humble. As if the two could not coexist together.
Should we celebrate success when the Bible calls us to be humble?
One of the stories I am studying to help me on these 31 days of blogging about Transforming GRACE is the the tower of Babel. Even though it only takes up 9 verses in the Bible it is a pretty well known story. It is a short story so bear with me as I retell it. In Genesis 9:1 God speaks to Noah, post flood, and tells him to “Be fruitful and increase in numbers and fill the earth”. Noah’s descendants end up staying together and settle in Shinar in Babylonia. A town meeting is held and they decide they are going to build a city and a tower, the biggest tower that’s ever been constructed, one that reaches into the sky. They wanted to make a name for themselves. God, noticing something big is cooking, comes down to get a closer look. The people are clearly working well together as a team because God, in Genesis 11:6 (amp), acknowledges that “nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them.” Not pleased with their motives God mixes-up and confuses their language so they don’t understand each other’s speech. This is where we get the word Babel.
Understanding GRACE keeps our motives in check.
When we look at how we spend our time each day (working at home, in an office, on our blog) what are the reasons we do what we do? Looking at our motives on a regular basis keeps us humble. Do you know what else keeps us humble? Remembering… that it is God’s empowering presence that enables you to be who He created you to be, and to do what He has called you to do.
Acknowledging GRACE keeps our successes in perspective.
When you take a closer look at the story of Babel you might notice that God did not halt the building of tower nor does he destroy it once it is completed. He judges their motives and consequently breaks off their communication causing them to scatter and settle throughout the earth filling it as they were previous told to do. It is not the success that is the problem it is the intention with which they were doing things.
As Christians we are to ultimately work to glorify God. It’s His GRACE that sets us apart.
I wrote down a list of the projects I am working on and roles I am filling. I addition I took an inventory of the reasons behind what I am doing. I would be lying if I said I got a perfect score in the pure motives category. This exercise was clearly worth doing!! Taking the time to do this opened the door to realign myself with God’s leading in my life, reign in the pride and glorify Him. I have a feeling I am going to have to do this well check every now and then. How about you?
Do you struggle with wanting to make a name for yourself? How do you re-center when you get off course?
Day 4: Defining Grace Day 6: Activating Grace
This is a post in the 31 Days of Transforming Grace. Click here to see a list of other posts in the series. If you would like to hear about what I am learning about GRACE in your e-mail inbox, subscribe above.