“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment . . ." (Romans 12:3) If you and I want to be fruitful for Christ – in big things or in small things – then it is essential that we understand this: Pride – the arrogant, self-promoting attitude that insinuates either consciously or unconsciously that it is our talents, our gifts, our resources, our intelligence that are the reasons for our successes – such pride will always disqualify us from bearing fruit for Christ. In fact, that’s exactly what Jesus said in John 15: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” You see, it’s all about Jesus. It always has been. It always will be. Anything we do without Jesus – without His humility (remember how He washed His disciples’ feet, including those of Judas?) – anything we do without complete reliance on Jesus has nestled within itself the seeds of abject failure regarding eternal things. Yes, it might appear that we are successful in whatever it is we have done or are doing – but such appearances are simply a façade. That’s why the Holy Spirit tells us through St. Paul: "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work." (1 Corinthians 3:11-13) In other words, the fruits of pride will inevitably result in little more than what are ashes left behind after a devastating housefire. Be careful. Make sure whatever you do, in word of deed, is always in complete reliance on and thankfulness to Jesus for your talents, gifts, resources, and intelligence.