A man can receive nothing—he can claim nothing, he can take unto himself nothing—except as it has been granted to him from heaven. John 3:27, AMPC

I held my breath when my phone rang on a Saturday. It was the chairman of the district “Teacher of the Year” committee calling to tell me that I had won the award. Unbelievable! This was an honor that I held in very high esteem and considered far beyond my abilities to achieve. I knew, better than anyone else, all my failings as a teacher. But I also knew how much I loved teaching and encouraging my fellow teachers. So when they told me that they wanted me to speak in front of the entire district after receiving the award, I was honored.

As I prepared my speech, I prayed that God would remove any pride from my heart. I felt led to share with my fellow teachers all of the ways that the Lord had shown me His favor. I appreciated (and enjoyed) the accolades—but gave all of the glory to God. It was truly a wonderful, memorable occasion.

However, I’ll never forget my first bad day after the award. The Enemy was ruthless! I thought to myself, Who do you think you are receiving such an award? Surely there are other people much more deserving and worthy!

It was then I realized how much receiving this award was testing my character.

How should I respond to praise? May God be glorified!

And, how should I respond to failure? May God be glorified as well!

Dear God, help me remember how very much I need You at all times—on the good days and the bad days. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Copyright Shirley Wilson.

Shirley is a retired member and former board member of Christian Educators.

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