“There is no success without a successor”. This is a great statement and shows us that no one is a self-made man. We all are who we are and what we are thanks to God and to the people He has placed in our lives. Parents, coaches, teachers, friends and spiritual leaders are just a few we could mention that have helped us to be where we are and what we are. Check out a few people in Scripture that became who they were thanks to those before them:
- Joshua was who he was because of the learning, teaching and help from Moses.
- God used Elisha in the life of Elijah
- Paul was the key man in the life of Timothy, Titus, Philemon and many others (but we cannot forget that Timothy also had his mother and grandmother that played a very important role in his conversion and knowledge of the Scriptures – II Timothy 1:5).
- There would be no Joseph to save his family from famine if there first was not a Jacob who wrestled with the angel of Jehovah.
We could mention many more, but the simple fact is that many of our Bible examples were not self-made men. Even the great apostle Paul was only received by the churches and apostles because of Barnabus – and Moses grew in leadership skills because of his father-in-law Jethro. If these mighty men of faith were what they were because of others, we as well are who we are and what we are because of the many people God has placed in our lives.
I could name many, many people that God has used to help me in my life – people that taught me to love, to be patient (still working on that one), to work hard, to be a blessing to others, to work wisely, to not be greedy and much more. It would be good for all of us to stop and think of where we learned our good qualities – and thank the Lord and the specific individuals for their input. Of course we learn from mistakes and the bumps in life, but we all have many good characteristics because of those God has placed in our lives. I want to suggest a few things we should do because of what we have learned in life:
- Contact in some way the people who have helped you and thank them. Your letter, call or gift can make someone’s day!
- Don’t be afraid of telling others where you learned from. Instead of sounding like a self-made man, let others know that God has used others to help you be who you are and arrive where you are.
- Give a good example to those who are watching you. There are always people watching you – children, coworkers, younger people, etc. Be a good example in your attitude, actions, work ethic, faith and service. Let other people see how you treat your family and others – be the “real deal” and let others see a good example in your life.
Here to Serve,
General Director of Vision Baptist Missions