At One Community Church, we present the inspirational words of one of our partners in the form of a weekly devotional.  This week’s message is from Andria Green.
The Word:
“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!” 2 Corinthians 12:7 (NASB)

The Story:
Everyone has skills or talents they do very well.  Dance is my passion, and my gift that I love to use every day.  All of my life I’ve been told how great of a performer I am.  As a young girl, I always envisioned myself growing up and selling out concert halls for my profession.  Throughout my life, the training that I received conditioned me to be the best: a perfectionist, always being cast for solos. Soon, I began to exalt myself.   Even after I joined the dance team at church, my view of myself had not changed.  I was still boasting in my own talents.  However, right before our big production for Christmas, I was in a life-changing car accident.  My injuries kept me away from dancing for months.  During my rehabilitation, a message was given about “thorns of the flesh.” As I heard the truths of God’s Word, I begin to feel conviction about my prideful mentality. I started to reflect on how I viewed myself, and came to understand that the gifts that God gave me are to glorify Him alone.

The Reflection:
How can we use the gifts God has given us for His glory? When thoughts of pride come into our minds, what Scriptures do we have ready to combat them? Let us remember that every gift comes from up above, and are to be used to honor the Lord.

The Application:
This week, as we use our gifts, let us stop to praise God for blessing us with them. When we think that the gifts we possess are for our own purposes or begin to think highly of ourselves, God may allow us to experience hindrance to help us remember to whom the glory belongs.

The Prayer:
Dear Lord, we humbly thank you for all the gifts you have graciously given us. Forgive us for forgetting that our gifts are from you. Thank you for the thorns that you allow us to experience as a reminder to not exalt ourselves.  Amen.