Text: Hebrews 13:7-9
“that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Sir Isaac Newton, who was well recognized as a star of Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy and also a key figure in the Scientific Revolution, once said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” He acknowledged that he used the understanding gained by major thinkers before him to make his own discoveries.
No matter how unique a work seems, if you dig further, you will discover that the owner of the work also got insight from someone’s discovery to get his. In actual fact, nothing is really unprecedented. Do you know that the Wright brothers, who are well acclaimed as the inventors of the first manned motorized airplane, also rode on the shoulders of Dr. Langley, a professor of physics and astronomy and others? This is the secret of stars of any field. They mastered the best of what other people had already done and then looked deeper to see a little further. Standing on the shoulders of giants is a necessary part of creativity, innovation, and development. It doesn’t make your work less valuable when you acknowledge and reference other people’s work. If you also want to be a giant in your own field, you must embrace it. “Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.” (Eccl 1:10). Even in our Christian calling, instead of wasting time to reinvent the wheel, God calls us to learn from heroes of faith who have gone ahead of us. “that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb 6:12). Follow their examples, but take your standard from Jesus. You can’t standout by living in isolation. Study what others did to achieve such levels of success that you desire and build on their work. Learn about their failures, what brought them down, and how they turned their regrets to testimonies, so you can also avoid the same pitfalls or rise up from your fall. Stars learn from other people’s experiences, but failures learn from their own experiences.
Friends, don’t let pride keep you from acknowledging that you need shoulders of giants to stand on to be able to standout. Whatever your field or calling, identify men and women who have proven records or testimonies of good success, study their biographies, and begin to follow them, while you make Jesus your perfect example and standard. Also, carefully choose who to follow, as you eventually become who you are following.
1. Father, let me never waste the grace to learn from heroes of faith and giants in my field in Jesus’s name.
2. Father, help me to choose who to follow and show me what I shouldn’t follow in them in Jesus’ name.
1. I read biographies because I need the shoulders of giants to standout to be a star.
2. Rather than reinventing my own wheels, I follow men and women in my field with proven records of good success.