Chris Langan has an IQ higher than Albert Einstein's. Moustafa Ismail has 31-inch biceps and can lift 600 pounds. Bill Gates is estimated to be worth billions. Those who have extraordinary abilities or possessions might be tempted to think more highly of themselves than they should. But we don't have to be wildly smart, strong, or wealthy to want to take credit for our achievements. Any size of accomplishment carries with it this question: Who will get the credit?
During a time of judgement, God spoke to the Israelites through the the prophet Jeremiah. He said: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mightly man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches" (Jer. 9:23). Rather, "let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me" (Jer. 9:24). God wanted His people to prize Him and His excellence above anything else.
If we allow praise to inflate our self-image, we're forgetting that "every good gift. . . comes down from the Father" (James 1:17). It's better to give God the glory - not only because it protects our hearts from pride but also because He rightfully deserves it. He is God, the One "who does great things. . . marvelous things without number" (Job. 5:9). We were created to give God the glory.