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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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.