When Solomon asks God for the gift of wisdom, God was pleased to give it to him. In fact, God made him the wisest person ever. His wisdom and generosity were so renowned that the Queen of Sheba even traveled to Jerusalem to meet him.
Two things should grab our attention in this story. First, Solomon asks for something he needs, because his heart is already oriented toward wanting what he needs. Second, The need is not only his, but it is for the good of the people he serves.
Solomon was already King, already had more than he could ask for, and so he turned outward to ask for something he needed to be a better King. As none of us are Kings, we must consider what way God is asking us to lead. Within our families and workplaces, there are plenty of opportunities for each of us to lead. If nothing else, God calls each of us to be better examples to those around us. What if we, like Solomon, realized what God needs us to be? What if we asked for help with this? I would guess that God would be just as pleased to help you with whatever gift you need.
Because Solomon turned his heart outward, asking for what his people needed him to be, his heart was aligned with God’s will. God wants to give us what we need to become who we are meant to be. When we ask for something from God, it is hard not to be at least a little selfish. We can ask for something that could help us make the world better, but even then, part of our hearts might want the gift so that we could personally be better.
While God has nothing against self-improvement, it usually has something to do with our pride. This has to be rooted out of our requests, so that we don’t twist God’s gifts into occasions to be even more prideful. Maybe we could avoid some of this by only asking for things we don’t want, but we know we need. But shouldn’t we also look to improve what we like, what we are already good at? The only real solution is to be ever more mindful that all our gifts belong to God, and so does the glory that goes along with them. Let that knowledge be the foundation of your ever-thankful heart. Glory belongs to God alone.