2014-01-22 - Credit
We live in a world where credit is given or taken all the time. There are legal reasons and some practical reasons, and then there are personal ones. For example, if you watch a movie or a television show, credits are shown to identify who starred in the production, who wrote it and every aspect in between. Those bits of information can be helpful for the viewer, as well as make clear who worked so hard to put it together. Another facet of credit is when a writer or a composer is being identified, whether it is in a book, song, article etc. A writers work needs to be protected legally as their own, and a copyright is to ensure this is possible. And if, per se, a student has to write about a work, they need to identify the differentiation between their own thoughts and the ones they have borrowed from someone elses work. Another example that readily comes to mind is when watching or taking part in a sports event. A basketball player most often is identified by a number as well as his name shown on a jersey. So then its possible to get credit for a score or a play, as well as any infraction in any given game. And finally, there are times people want to be known for what they have done. Companies, for example, want others to know that they were responsible for a building like a stadium, and so they have their name on the floor, or even have the entire building named after their business.
I was pondering how these ideas, some of them quite innocuous, can permeate our minds and change how we believe we should get credit for things that are more personal. Sure, its ok to be named as the author of your own article, to have your name on a jersey as you play a game, or to get royalties for a song youve written - and not think anything further about it. But what about taking credit for doing things that make us feel good about ourselves? We can slip into that mode and not realize it. We can go from wanting people to know about something so they, too, can perhaps take part and be a blessing, to then wanting to spend more time talking about the fact we accomplished something. Pride (the unkind sort) is often very subtle (Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made Gen 3:1 KJV) and can slip in, if we allow it to do so. I have done this many times, and had to either be corrected or call myself out on it. For me, something like getting upset when someone didnt take my suggestion, and then later took the same suggestion from another person. It should be enough to know that a positive change occurred, no matter whose idea it was at the time, yet that is not often how we see it. I often take those things personally, and its not healthy. And sometimes there can be a fine line in what our motives truly are when doing something. When I need to double-check my motives, I ask myself something like this. If you are not going to get any credit or type of exposure for taking part in or leading in something, would you still want to do it? If the answer is yes, then pride is not a factor. If the answer is no, then I need to reexamine my motives, and make the proper thinking adjustments.
The fact of the matter is, Jesus didnt take credit for anything he did while on this Earth. He gave credit where credit was due, and that was to his Father in Heaven. Who are we to do things differently? And when you think about it, taking all the credit means more than just notoriety. It means we carry the full weight and burden, no matter how things turn out. I dont know about you, but I find it comforting that I do not have to do so. When we need credit for something we have done, then it can turn out as things did for Bruce in the movie Bruce Almighty (with Jim Carrey). In one scene, he realizes the easiest thing to do with dealing with peoples prayer requests, from the human perspective, is to just tell them all yes. You can imagine the mess that made, and we just need to let the one who can handle things best take the credit. And the Father in Heaven knew us, as such flawed humans, not to be capable of handling things on our own, so He created a plan that allowed us to get all the benefits of Him taking credit for everything good and anything not so good. He can have the credit, and Ill enjoy the win with Him.
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Luke 10:22 KJV)