27 Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, 28 and who extended to me his steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17
In Chapter 7, Ezra returns to Jerusalem and the Lord blessed him. We see Ezra thanking God for bestowing favor on him, knowing that it is not of himself. All good things come from God. I know in my life, the first person I praise in good times is often myself. I congratulate myself on MY hard work, MY wisdom, MY good deeds. How silly, really. In reality, God grants me wisdom. He gives me perseverance and determination. And he puts good deeds on my heart. I am inherently sinful and any good thing I do is because of God’s truth in my heart. So no, it isn’t bad to give yourself a pat on the back, but we must not forget the God who orchestrates all things in our lives. He is merciful, all-knowing, all-powerful, and full of grace and love. He is God.