Excellence, Quality, and Good Should be Earned Words, Not Self Attributed.

Playing ping pong at my grandpa’s house was always a big deal when I was a little kid. One tiny memory I have was during a game when I was eight or nine years old. I don’t remember the exact exchange, but it went something like this:

Me (after actually hitting the ball):  Wow, that was an amazing shot!

Grandpa: You’re supposed to let me say that.

It’s a tiny little blip in my memory bank. And if it wasn’t that exactly, it was something close to it.

One of the quotes from the book, Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull was “excellence, quality and good should be earned words, attributed by others to us, not proclaimed by us about ourselves.”

There’s a lot of truth to this statement. We should do our best to lead a successful life, ministry or business and let others do the talking about how good it really is. It often may be a motivator to improve, grow or change.

In our new digital world, we are always, in some ways, promoting ourselves. This may not always be good.

In the art world, good art is good art when it’s appreciated.

Good businesses are elated when someone is satisfied with a product or service and tells others about it.


Here’s what scripture says:

Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips. Prov. 27:2

Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:3b


So for today, my prayer is that I won’t try to assign those words to myself, but that I will do all I can to live up to God’s call in my life, measuring my faithfulness to Him, first and foremost.

Additionally, I want to use the gifts God has given me to help build up the kingdom. And of the good things that happen, I want to let others be the ones to talk about it.

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