I was driving in my car with a friend the other day. He looked at me and said, “your car rides nice.” I looked at him and said “thanks.”
I thought about that exchange later and how, for a minute, I was mildly happy with myself about the fact that he thought my car drove nice. It kind of made me feel good. As I considered that, I thought about how ridiculous that was. I did not make the car. I did not design the car. I have not done a single minute of work or maintenance on the car to make it drive well. The idea that I should connect any level of credit to myself for something I have nothing to do with is kind of silly.
You’re probably thinking, “bro you need to chill out. You think about stuff too much.” I probably do. That said, I think there is a bigger point here. I think many of us take credit for stuff that is not ours to take. We claim success that is really because of someone else. We feel good about results in our personal lives that we did not work for and are really results of something like the family we were born into. But where this shows up the most is as it pertains to recognizing that your talents and abilities, although cultivated and developed by you, were not given to you by you. There is a God who graciously gave your athleticism, intelligence, charisma, great looks, and so on. It would do us all some good to recognize that what we have that is awesome, we did not design or create. Humility has become a virtue we frown upon as a culture, but I would call us (myself) back to it as something that is fundamental to who we all need to be. I think a lot changes in our lives and in the world when we give credit where credit is do and when we do not take credit for that which is not ours to own.