Daily D – Esther 6:6
So Haman came in, and the king said, “What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?” Haman thought to himself, “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?” ESTHER 6:6 (NLT)
What Haman said here is almost always the wrong thing to think or to say. Come to think of it, I am not sure there are exceptions to this rule. That’s an idea worth keeping in mind.
A certain high school senior was the Honorary Rotarian for the month. That meant he got to leave campus and go to lunch with the Rotary Club in his hometown. He was introduced before the business owners and operators. His host read the list of his honors earned during his high school career.
He wrapped up his introduction by talking about how impressive all those credentials were and what a bright future this young man had. The student was asked to stand and be recognized. He received applause and turned a bright shade of red with embarrassment.
I have been introduced several times across the years to one crowd or another. Here’s what I figured out along the way: There are not many people in the room, whatever room it is, who are all that impressed. One curmudgeon actually said, “I don’t care how much you know or what you did somewhere else. What are you going to do for us?”
A couple of years ago, I was asked to speak before a group that does amazing work around the world. The host said, “I’m not going to introduce you. I’m going to ask you some questions and your answers will serve as your introduction.”
He asked about my job, my family, and my hobbies. I remembered Haman’s example. I did the opposite. I talked about my amazing coworkers, my wonderful wife, my outstanding family, and the high privilege of standing before a group that changes the world for the better every day.
This would be the only time I ever interacted with most of the people in that room. What I had accomplished in the past meant nothing to them. What they needed was my best in that moment to help them step into their next opportunity to serve. The attention properly belonged to them.
Haman’s example is a wonderful reminder that it is not all about us. Nothing we accomplish in life is all our own doing. Anything significant we achieve is a result of teamwork. The wisest thing we can do when receiving an award or an honor is to declare who made it possible.
Come to think of it, now is as good a time as any to make some calls and write some notes and thank those people who made it possible for you to be where you are and to do what you do. This might take a while.
Read on in this chapter and you see Haman got to give someone a pony ride in the king’s robes. He got to shout that man’s praises. Who will you give a pony ride in royal robes with loud declarations?
I will focus my best attention on others.
Our Father, please forgive me for thinking I am the center of the universe. You alone are worthy of that focus. Thank you for the wonderful people you have placed in my life. Nothing I have, nothing I will ever achieve is possible apart from the gifts of your grace that they are. Make me the man I need to become who elevates others. Use me to build up the people around me so they may live lives of maximum expression that honor you and serve others. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.