I was thinking about something last night while reading the Bible. Over the past 18 years I’ve worked in IT (information technology), and the last 10 years mostly as a manager of IT in the pharmacy industry. I’m pretty good at what I do. I’m by no means great, but I can get the job done. For example, I can plan ahead so that my team and I can start tearing down a data center in Chicago at 1:00 on Friday afternoon, have everything crated and loaded onto trucks by 8:00 that evening (or 6:00 if the second truck had arrived on time), fly to Memphis to meet the trucks, uncrate everything, rack and stack the servers, hook up the data circuits and the routers, change the configurations on firewalls, fix a few minor problems, and be done by Sunday afternoon. When the users come in Monday morning, they don’t even know that everything was moved over the weekend, except for the fact that they got off early on Friday.

But if you stop and really think about this, how can you take pride in your “gifts?” I didn’t create myself, I didn’t give myself a predisposition to technology or the logical thinking it takes to solve problems or to be able to plan projects. I didn’t teach myself to be good at encouraging people, or to care about them beyond the work they do for me. My father and both my brothers are lawyers, so I suppose, by genetic predisposition, I should have a tendency toward the love of law and of argumentation. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

When God made us, he gave each of us a set of gifts or skills. But when we discover these gifts, and get good at them, don’t we tend to take pride in how good we are? Isn’t that sort of silly?