Session 9

How to accept praise and stay humble

From A Celebration of Advent: A 25-Day Devotional

The calling God placed on Mary’s life wasn’t something she could hide. She was carrying a child. And not just any child — the child Israel had waited hundreds of years for! 

Mary responded to this miracle with worship. Luke 1:46-56 is a song to God. When Mary says, “From now on all generations will call me blessed,” she wasn’t being proud (Luke 1:48). She was recognizing and accepting the gift God had given to her. 

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” - Luke 1:47

Just like God did something special in Mary’s life, He is doing something special in each of us. He has a plan and purpose for all of us (Ephesians 2:10). As we discover our spiritual gifts and embrace God’s plan for our lives, people take notice.

So when that happens, how do we respond?

God is pleased when we accept His gifts and use them for His glory. He loves when we point the credit for our talents back to Him. That’s what Mary did. 

Mary knew the miracle God was doing through her was a direct result of God’s ability, not her own. In fact, to not recognize God’s faithfulness would have been prideful because she would have been taking credit God deserved. 

Pride refuses to accept God’s gifts and/or takes credit for what God has done. Pride says, “I can do this on my own” or “I don’t need you.” In reality, it’s only because of God’s strength and goodness that we can do anything. 

One of the best ways to thank God for what He’s doing in us and through us is to praise Him and use our gifts to serve Him. Allowing the great things God does through us to give Him glory instead of us — that’s the kind of humility Mary had. 

  • What are your God-given talents and gifts? How are you using them to glorify God?
  • How do you respond when people comment on something you’re good at? 
  • What’s one way you can celebrate what God’s doing in you without making it about you?

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