Solo Deo Gloria
"You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth."1
"J. S. Bach became known worldwide for his remarkable musical talent, but he never ceased to credit his Creator as the one who was responsible for his ability. The pages of his musical compositions could well have been used to satisfy a personal pride as his name appeared on them. But he was determined to give glory to God for his accomplishments. So he always concluded his original compositions with the three letters INS. They stood for the Latin words meaning 'In the name of Christ.' At other times Bach began his score with the letters JJ, meaning 'Jesus help', and then ended his composition with the letters SDG for the Latin Solo Deo Gloria, meaning, 'To God be the glory.'"2
The problem of pride is as old as mankind ... actually it's older, for it was Satan's downfall. "I will make myself like the Most High [God],"3 he declared. It has also been the downfall of many a man. "Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall,"4 warned King Solomon.
It's so easy to forget that all that we are and have comes from God—"For in him we live and move and have our being"5—and yet so many of us act as if we were the creator of our talents, the maker of our abilities, and the master of our tomorrows—none of which is true.
On the other hand, humility is not putting yourself down. True humility is acknowledging what gifts we have, abilities we possess, and accomplishments we have achieved—but all the while, like Bach, gratefully acknowledging Solo Deo Gloria—to God be the glory.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for the gifts that You have given to me. Help me to invest and use these wisely in the work of Your Kingdom on earth and always remember to give You the glory. Thank You, too, for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NIV).
2. Harold H. Lentz, Preaching the Miracles, CSS Publishing, Lima, Ohio, 1999. Cited on: http://www.esermons.com/
3. Isaiah 14:13-15.
4. Proverbs 16:18.
5. Acts 17:28 (NIV).