Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 1 Chron. 29:11, emphasis mine, NLT
When my girls were little, they went to their grandparents’ in Idaho for two weeks every summer. They have wonderful memories from those years and it was a nice break for us. Invariably though, they would come home saying, “Grandma says…” and proceed to tell me what great wisdom Grandma had on every subject. The very things I’d been saying the other fifty weeks of the year suddenly sounded new. Sigh. Two weeks under her tutelage and Grandma got all the credit. However, I’m thankful for the love and discipline they received there.
On the other hand, it’s hard to put up with the guy who tries to take credit for work others have done. In the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Danny Kaye plays the part of an unappreciated idea man. His boss manages to take the credit for his initiative, until he finally stands up for himself.
We all seem to know people who, whether they mean to or not, constantly get the glory for what others have done. Sometimes, we ourselves are guilty. It’s a human tendency to accept accolades that belong to someone else.
|playing king of the hill|
Last week, Kelly and I read about King Hezekiah, who was a great man in many ways: a conquering war hero, innovative builder, and faithful God worshiper who inspired his people to pursue God. But when sickness threatened to take his life, he despaired. He turned his face to the wall and wept bitterly. God heard his prayer and told him to ask for a sign that he would be healed.
King Hezekiah asked God to move the shadow up the ten steps it had just come down. God made time go backwards, and gave the king an extra fifteen years. That’s when Hezekiah made his big mistake. When the Babylonians heard about the miracle, some men came to see the king and hear more about it. Sadly, instead of giving God the credit, Hezekiah took center stage – he showed off his kingdom and his wealth. Not only did he fail to witness, but a few years later, the Babylonians pounced on Judah to haul off the treasure they had seen there, and take the people captive. (You can read this story is in 2 Kings 20 and Isaiah 38-39.)
This challenges me. If other people hear about or see God’s healing, answered prayer, success, or wisdom in my life, they might want to know more about Him. When they ask, what will I say? Will I praise God for victory? Or will I show off what I have and what I have done?
Our victories might not include a life threatening illness and miraculous healing. But God’s plan is to use our victories over habits and temptations, healed emotional scars, and everyday acts of bravery to draw others to Him. Will we fluff up our egos or give Him the credit?