“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Cor. 4:7 NIV84)
Here we have a verse with all questions. For me, the second question is the most striking. “What do you have that you did not receive?” Job said the same thing in a slightly different way: “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” The language of the committal service of the dead states, “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can take nothing out.” The message is clear. What we have, we have received; we have not created it for ourselves.
None of us created ourself, but we were created. None of us chose our parents, and our parents did not choose us. But nonetheless, we were united. You did not give yourself the looks, intelligence, talents and abilities you have, but you have them all the same. We have been blessed to use what we have been given, but we can give ourselves nothing. We are recipients. We freely receive blessings from our heavenly Father. All that we have has been given to us from outside ourselves. And for this reason our Creator and Redeemer receives all the glory and praise.