Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are You A Self-Made Person?

I got to thinkin' last night---actually, around 2:00 this morning during one of my mini wake-up spells---about how so many of us think of ourselves as "self-made".  If I have heard that attitude from my friends and acquaintances once, I have heard it ten thousand times over the years.  And yes, there was a time when I, too, was guilty.

And why not?  It is understandable. I mean, after all, we do live in a society that has always preached self-reliance and rewarded those who persevere.  If someone works hard and overcomes adversity and reaps the rewards of that effort, they naturally feel pretty good about themselves and tend to see themselves as "self-made".

But, in my foggy early morning mind, something deeper occurred to me:  anyone who sees themselves as self-made is arrogant and not in touch with reality.

Not a single one of us on this relatively insignificant planet had anything whatever to do with the following:

---Where we were born
---When we were born
---To whom we were born
---The financial circumstances into which we were born
---The stability of the family unit into which we were born
---The vitality of our individual gene pools
---Our names

This list, of course, could continue.  My point is this:  without catching some pretty significant breaks here and there in life---breaks we ourselves had nothing to do with---where would we be?

What of God?  Do you think He deserves some credit?  Do you think God appreciates arrogance?


  1. Excellent post Clint and most thought provoking,
    I too think of things whilst unable to sleep.....perhaps I think too much.

    Thanks for the comments much appreciated,

  2. but God helps those who help themselves so i think there has to be a bit of both...

  3. I can't imagine God appreciating arrogance. Just the other day I heard the late Adrian Rogers on the radio asking the quesion: Has anyone else noticed how arrogant satan has become? Sin used to slip down the dark alleys but now it is paraded on Main Street.

  4. I dont think arrogance and a being a self made person do not have to be the same thing. God created all of us, but he gave us free will. So the guy who sits on the couch and is lazy will not achieve anything. While the guy who overcomes adversity, works 20 hour days, and invests well can be a self made man. That doesnt mean he is arrogant, it means he has worked hard, was determination and had faith. And I fear that in this country, very few people are willing to work hard for what they have. They believe it should be given to them or they jump on the back of someone who does work hard. Therefore I think that we should celebrate a 'self made' person for living up to what God intended for us humans. It would be short sited to call it arrogant.

  5. Clint, I am guilty of taking credit for my accomplishments in the past, that changed drastically in 2005 when I became so ill I was in palliative care. I give the helping professionals credit to a very small degree, my life hung in balance and it was through God's mercy I have been given a second chance in life.

    The professionals are astounded by my recovery, they have no medical explanation why I'm sitting here today and in the amazingly good health I am so blessed with. How can anyone scientifically explain a miracle? I'm one of the fortunate ones in life, I know who to thank for sparing my life!

    I' sorry but I disagree with Jane. I personally used to measure success through my hard work, I ensured my materialistic "needs" were being met and I excelled in doing so. After being stripped mind, body, and soul of the very essence of life I've come to realize that things are only things and can be replaced.

    Yes we are given free will but I'm not going to kill myself making the almighty dollar. My free will has led me back to school to educate myself in a helping profession, working with others makes me feel like the richest person alive.

    I know that I get help from above when I'm writing papers until 4 or 5am and have to be up at 7am to attend a class, I couldn't do this journey alone and God is always by my side leading the way. When I'm in tune spiritually I don't hit those brick walls like I used to, sometimes I bump into them but I never hurt myself anymore. I do a reassessment of where I'm at and I humble myself enough to ask for continued guidance.

    So yes, we have free will, what appears as laziness to some might not be the case at all. I feel until you have walked a mile in another man's/woman's shoes you will not fully understand their situation or the cards they were dealt in life. I view self made as arrogant when I take the credit for my life accomplishments, without being spiritually connected I wouldn't be where I'm at in life today.

    I hope not to offend anyone with my opinion, this is how I feel and if you agree or disagree, either is fine with me.

    Clint you put out a deep topic, thank you for this. I am consciously aware of my connectedness and I know it's going to be an amazing day! I hope you have a wonderful day as well. :-)

  6. Clint, I am only a self-made person in the fact that it was I who used the free will God gave me and chose my path; good or bad, I made the decisions to do what I did. I blame no one else. I am thankful my God stuck by me through the bad choices and guided me to the good choices when I realized I was on the wrong path.
    Anonymous aka Carol B.

  7. I have those late night talks with myself also.
    I do believe by free will, those who prosper and those who wallow in evil are self made. They made the choices.
    Arkansas Patti

  8. Great post! I think God does hate arrogance. None of us are "self-made." We were made by God in His image. What we do with His gift is up to us and God. Working 20 hours a week kills families and lives. I had a job like that and while it did help us out for a time, it nearly drove me crazy. Money isn't everything. What God makes is eternal, what I make is temporary. But I will still work hard because that's what He wants, and I feel good when I do at work, helping others, and my family.

  9. Whew, Clint. You really jumped in at the deep end today, didn't you? Well, good for you, and why not.

    I am pretty sure that God does not like arrogance at all, in fact, I seem to recall that one of the "six things God hates" listed in either Psalms or Proverbs is a "haughty look" - a phrase meaning arrogance.

    So I am with you, buddy, we all got some Divine Help with anything we ever accomplished, even when we worked hard and stayed the course. Someone had to give us the perserverence and courage to do that. :) Have a great day - Marsha

  10. Hello Clint, We are where we are because God put us there. Yes some people are very arrogant..and it is, straight from the mouth of Satan.
    Humble is a better word.I get a great joy out of doing anything. I don't get it out of my education, because that was a choice, or out of the Faith I follow or anything else... But in "giving thanks for all things," as you have reminded me to..Thank you for your words of wisdom and your humble heart.

  11. I believe God deserves all the credit. I am grateful for the gifts he has given me everyday.

  12. That is a good point to think about. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Have a beautiful day and take care.


  13. Well its late...all I can think of is... Without Him I would be nothing...Without Him I'd surely fail.... Without Him I would be a ship without a sail....

  14. Clint, this is a very deep post, and I am happy to have read it.

    I agree with you - being a self made man can lead to arrogance, but the verse you posted says it well. Give credit where credit is due. Even our intelligence and mental faculties and opportunities that come out way are all from God.

    We just have to do all things available to us in the best way we can - but never to the extent that it becomes another god sitting on the throne that God alone should occupy!

    Thanks for sharing what is on your heart, Clint.

    It has blessed me and your other readers tremendously.


  15. I think it was arrogance, declaring himself self-made and taking all the credit for himself that landed Nebuchadnezzar in a season of living and eating grass like an animal. (Daniel 4: 28 - 33)
    I don't think God condones laziness either. It's an issue of attitude. We can work as hard as we like but it is God who gives the increase, so I always think it's best and right to give the credit to God. I don't always get it right though as I'm rather arrogance- prone. Gotta work on that! :)
    Great topic Clint!

  16. Clearly, if you are a Bible reader, you know that God does not take joy in pride & arrogance... He wants us to know that without His grace we are nothing. The material things in this world will burn one day along with the earth itself! We can't take "stuff" with us when we leave this place anyway so the more we accumulate, the more will be left for our loved ones to deal with. (a separate topic all together)
    What He has taught in His word is that our relationships are what He is most concerned about-- Greatest commands? #1-Love God, #2- Love your neighbor as yourself...on these commands rest all the law & prophets :)
    No room for arrogance.

  17. Good point Clint I never considered myself a self made woman as I have had many helpful people, and breaks a long the way. I am sure we can all agree no one on earth is self made. B

  18. Hi Clint -

    Yes, indeed, GOD gets credit. It's His air that we breathe.

    He abhors arrogance. His Word says that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

    Thank you, Clint, for this reminder...