The Apostle Paul makes this statement in 1 Corinthians 4:7. He talks to a group that feels superior and reminds them of a truth. “What do you have that you have not received?” That is a great question. When you get to the place where you feel pretty assured that you are something special, it would be good to remember Paul’s statement: everything I have, I received. You are special! You are here for a purpose! Yet so is everyone else in the world, special and unique. Some thoughts on this concept of everything I have received:
- It starts at birth. I had no say in who my parents were or where I was born. This was a choice made for me. So at the beginning of my life, I received. Life is a gift given to me; it was not my doing or my choice.
- Every breath I take is a gift. This simple act that keeps us going, I receive. I did not create the air or my lungs. I received it and continue to receive it.
- My vocation. You might say I went to college or trade school and have worked hard to attain the knowledge and expertise to do my job. If you have a job today, there was some time when you received the invitation to come and work. I am self-employed. No one gave me my job. I created it! But where did you acquire the knowledge and skill? How did you know that you wanted to and could start a company?
- My talent and abilities. We do develop them, but we have also received them.
- My family. Yes, they are my family, but they are a gift I have received.
Through God’s grace and mercy, I have been the beneficiary of a continual stream of divine blessings. Some were relatively easy to identify, and others were hidden in unwanted circumstances yet used to help to refine and deepen me. What could happen this week if I kept 1 Corinthians 4:7 ever before me? What a daily reminder if I paraphrased the verse: “What do I have that I have not received?” Would it change my attitude? My perspective?
All that I have has been given to me. This statement from God’s word will help keep everything in proper perspective. It would also keep my attitude and spirit humble and thankful for God’s blessings.