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“The Buck Stops Here” Attitude Could Be a Source of Spiritual Conflict for Christians

Author : Tom Graneau

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The world is full of self-driven individuals who want to get ahead in life. Many of them live by certain ideals that seem to propel them to their dreams. Some of the most common ones are: “If it has to be, it’s up to me; I am the master of my fate; I control my destiny; the buck stops here;” etc.

In time, many of these individuals do become highly successful people. They excel in academia, careers, businesses, and other personal ventures. Moreover, their lifestyle usually reflects a certain level of success that is typically above average.

Kudos to winners

My sincere applause to people who have worked hard to earn what they have, particularly if everything was obtained honestly. I certainly understand the commitment and sacrifice that is required in pursuit of a dream and the fulfilment that follows such a feat. At the same time, a word of caution is in order.

Caution about self-proclaimed success

“The buck stops here” attitude could pose some danger for people who believe in the concept, especially those who say they believe in God. It is easy for mankind to take credit for his achievements, leaving God out of the picture completely or using his name just enough to give the impression of gratitude.

But God cannot be fooled. He has a way of knowing our level of sincerity and can quickly teach us a lesson in humility by taking everything away from us in the blink of eye.

The Old Testament has many examples about how God has humbled the boastful. One that comes to mind is Nebuchadnezzar, King of Ancient Babylon. Looking at his kingdom, he bragged: “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”  (Daniel 4:30). While he was still speaking, God took away his human senses and turned him into an animal. His hair looked like the feathers of an eagle, and his nails grew like birds’ claws. Finally, he was driven from his kingdom to a nearby field where he consumed grass for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for seven years. At the end of the seven years, he regained his human consciousness and a new attitude. He recognized God as the supreme being in the universe who controls all things and lived the rest of his life in reverence to him. By the way, one year before the incident, the prophet Daniel had told him that this would happen (Daniel 4).

Though it is not certain, there is something to be said about people who, at one time in their lives seemed to be on top of the world, but lost everything—money, power, status, family, and so forth—seemingly overnight. What happened? We will never know for sure, but we certainly cannot undermine the possibility of divine intervention.

Always give gratitude to God

If you are successful, meaning having an abundance of material wealth and other good fortunes in your life, you should always and forever recognize God, the divine influence that made it all possible. The Bible explains it this way: “For exaltation comes neither from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another” (Psalm 75: 6-7). As the creator of the universe, and the one who wills his grand plan in our lives, it is he who ultimately influences the structure of wealth and power in our world and determines who becomes successful and who doesn’t.

Losing sight of this reality could be potentially dangerous. On the other hand, learning to demonstrate sincere gratitude to God in moments of triumph or success is a wise discipline.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Do you believe that God has anything to do with your personal success or achievements? In recent days, have you thanked him for your success?

  1. 1. Do you believe that God
  2. 2. Do you believe that God
  3. 3. Do you believe that God
  4. 4. Do you believe that God



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