“Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves…” (Genesis 11:4)
It’s easy to spot the mistakes others make and wonder, “You numskulls, what were you thinking?!” Yet, over and over again I find myself doing the very things that I recognize as foolish in others.
For example, I’m frequently guilty of making the same two blunders that the people building the tower of Babel made: 1) they wanted to see what they could accomplish on their own; and 2) they wanted to make a name for themselves. We frequently applaud self-sufficiency and accomplishment for personal gain; they are hallmarks of our culture. However, God must have looked down on their foolish pride and shook His head. (By the way, God quickly humbled the people by scattering them [v.8]).
Hard work is commendable; the challenge is to work hard without attempting to make a name for ourselves, but for God instead. Casting Crowns captured the idea in their song, Only Jesus:
Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself/
Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else/
Make a name the world remembers…
But I don’t want to leave a legacy/
I don’t care if they remember me/
As you work hard in this world, whose name are you trying to make known to others? Yours, or the name of Jesus? Only one name will last, choose wisely. –Dave
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