During World War II, Harry Truman became President of the United States when Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. Truman said he felt as if a great weight had been dropped on him, and he asked people to pray for him. It is said that his old colleague Sam Rayburn tried to help him be humble when he said, “They’ll tell you what a great man you are, Harry, but you and I both know you ain’t.”
In 2 Chronicles 26 we read about Uzziah, who was a remarkable king. He took office when he was 16 and ruled over the nation of Judah for 52 years (vv.1-3). He was God-fearing and led the nation into a long era of prosperity. His fame spread far and wide, but he apparently listened to people tell him how great he was. In his pride he assumed the role of the priest, a role God had clearly reserved for the descendants of Aaron. For this act of disobedience God afflicted him with leprosy (v.19).
There are no truly great men or women, only a great God who enables some to be effective leaders and outstanding benefactors of mankind. Realizing this will help us to overcome envy when others are highly praised, and it will keep us from becoming proud if someone tells us how great we are. Only God is truly great and worthy of praise.
Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I, but Christ, be seen, be known, be heard;
Not I, but Christ, in every look and action;
Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word. —Whiddington
We think too much of ourselves when we think too little of God.