Friday, June 10, 2016

Where Credit is Due

Chuckle: A teacher asked the kindergartners, "Can a bear take off his warm overcoat? "No," they answered. "Why not?" After a long silence, a little fellow spoke up. "Because only God knows where the buttons are."
Good Quote: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” --Harry S. Truman
The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength" (Judges 7:2 NLT).
It's always interesting to see the reaction of champion athletes after they have won a game, race, or other athletic event. Some have the attitude that says, "look what I have done," while others give credit to parents, coaches, teammates, and some even point upward toward God giving Him the credit for the accomplishment.
Even those of us who say we trust God in every aspect of our lives are often tempted to claim credit for our accomplishments made possible by the support of others and to disavow God's providence in what we are able to do. We are wise if we understand that we can accomplish nothing without help.
In the story of Gideon, God saw the need to reduce the numbers of Israelite soldiers from 32,000 down to three hundred to insure they would give Him credit for their miraculous victory over the Midianites. If the odds were better, the soldiers would have claimed their superior strength overcame their enemy. With an army this small, there could be no doubt that the victory was by the hand of God. Like Gideon, we must be reminded that we are helpless in our own strength. Jesus made this point when He said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5 NIV).
Sometimes Christians are like the woodpecker who was pecking away on the trunk of a dead tree. Suddenly lightning struck the tree and splintered it. The woodpecker flew away unharmed. Looking back to where the dead tree had stood, the proud bird exclaimed, "Look what I did!"
As we think about our accomplishments, we should always share the acclaim with all the other people who contributed to that success. But even more important, we should always give God the credit that is due Him. To give credit where credit is due requires us to empty ourselves of selfish pride and realize our dependence on others and God Himself.
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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