Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Let Someone Else Reel It In

When my husband and I were newly married we loved to spend time at the coast. He had an airboat and we fished in the sawgrass and creeks off of Keaton Beach in Florida. One particular Saturday, we had been on the water for a while and suddenly we hit a pocket of trout. I say we. It wasn’t we. It was my husband, David. He hit a pocket of trout and brought in fish after fish. I cast my line in the same place and the fish took his bait instead of mine. I reeled exactly like David. I even held my head crooked and mouth funny trying to be like him, but nothing took my bait.

So, I did what any other wife would do that was getting skunked by her husband. I sulked. I crossed my arms, pouted, and sulked. David finally felt sorry for me and we traded poles. First cast into the water and David lands another trout ... on my pole. Boy, was I hot! This competitive girl lost her cool, threw her pole down, and quit.

Fast forward to now. We took our boys down the river and found a nice sand bar. Another family with kids was there and their son really wanted to catch a fish. I told him the next fish I hooked, he could reel it in. After a few minutes, I called him over and he excitedly reeled in a fish. I got it off the hook, he grabbed it and ran over to show his mom and dad. I smiled from the inside out and got another line ready so one of my sons could reel in the next fish that I hooked.

A lot has changed over the years. I used to want all the glory. I put in the hard work of baiting and casting. I waited and hunted for fish and if one ever took the bait, boy was I excited to bring that fish in and show it off. But now, I’m content letting someone else reel it in. I don’t mind searching for the perfect place, putting in the time, and waiting on the fish to take the bait. I don’t mind handing over the reel to someone else and letting them get the credit. The smile on that little boy’s face, the pride he felt, the encouragement it gave him; it was worth it.

Life is the same way. Sometimes it is okay to back off and let someone else get the credit. In this world of competition, ladder climbing, and trying to be the best, sometimes we forget that our lives and actions will speak louder than one isolated moment of victory. Matthew 23:12 (NLT) states,

“But those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Yeah, someone else might get the credit for all of our hard work, but maybe that’s the shot in the arm they need to move ahead. Maybe we have already proven ourselves again and again and it is time to put someone else in the limelight. Maybe we just need to encourage those younger than us so that they will feel and become successful. Or maybe we need to take people out of the equation entirely and do everything simply for the glory of God. Colossians 3:23 (NLT) reads,

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.”

Whatever the reason, just remind yourself that it isn’t always about getting the credit. Sometimes it’s okay to let someone else reel it in.

Copyright © 2020 Christy Bass Adams, used with permission.

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