“Everyone I meet is my superior in some way.” Here’s why that’s a good thing.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but wisdom is with the humble. (Proverbs 11:2)

A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with one of my favorite authors—someone who has sold millions more books than I have.

I was picking my friend’s brain on publishing and book marketing, when all of a sudden, he started asking me questions about marketing children’s books.

Given the massive respect I have for this person, I was really taken aback by his questions. “Why are you asking me about book marketing?” I asked.

My friend replied, “Because I have not cracked the nut on children’s books, and honestly, it’s been a bit frustrating. You, on the other hand, seem to have figured this out.”

After muttering some false humility, my friend cut me off by quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Jordan,” he said, “Everyone I meet is my superior in some way.”

I love that perspective. And my friend only had it because of the frustrating “thorns and thistles” he has experienced in his work (see Genesis 3:17-18).

Last week, we saw that we should give thanks for thorns and thistles because they force us to rely on God. But we should also thank God for our “painful toil” because it forces us to rely on others. That’s a tremendous blessing for two reasons.

First, when we rely on others we get wisdom! The pain caused by “thorns and thistles” leads to humility and that humility leads to wisdom (see Proverbs 11:2)

Second, when we rely on others they get blessed! Because you are giving them a chance to use their God-given gifts to serve you. If the person you’re relying on is a believer, you’re giving them a chance to earn eternal rewards by helping you (see Ephesians 6:8)!

What problem can’t you seem to solve in your work today? Don’t pridefully keep it to yourself. Share your struggles with someone who can help. And thank God for the thorns and thistles that forced you to rely more on him and your neighbor.


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