DayBreaks for 8/04/17: Taking Credit
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2007:
John Ortberg tells this story: “Not too long ago, there was a CEO of a Fortune 500 company who pulled into a service station to get gas. He went inside to pay, and when he came out he noticed his wife engaged in a deep discussion with the service station attendant. It turned out that she knew him. In fact, back in high school before she met her eventual husband, she used to date this man.
“The CEO got in the car, and the two drove in silence. He was feeling pretty good about himself when he finally spoke: ‘I bet I know what you were thinking. I bet you were thinking you’re glad you married me, a Fortune 500 CEO, and not him, a service station attendant.
“No, I was thinking if I’d married him, he’d be a Fortune 500 CEO and you’d be a service station attendant.”
We all want to take credit, don’t we? It doesn’t matter if it is on the job, at school or in the home. We want the credit for what goes well. We want to take credit when someone tells us how well behaved our children are, or how much they’ve achieved. We want to take credit for our brilliance and skill that has made us successful at our jobs or in our classes. We like the praise of men and women.
We really have a problem with pride. Pride, if not satisfied by the praises and recognition of others, will draw things to their attention hoping that we receive praise. This is different than merely wanting to do a good job – it’s wanting to be recognized and acknowledged. It’s about someone saying to us, “Wow, you’re good. You did a terrific job!”
Our pride demands feeding. In the case of the CEO and his wife, which one of them gave the man the ability to earn the money and rise to the position he’d achieved? Certainly neither of them did. They only took the raw materials that God had poured into this man and worked with it. God gave the ability.
Grace is about not getting credit. It is about recognizing that not only didn’t we do something good, but we did something poorly (obey!) and God still did something good for us. If we understand grace, we’ll realize we can’t claim the credit for anything good. All we can do is fall before the cross and praise Him for His love and grace that “saved a wretch like me.”
PRAYER: Our hearts are full of pride and desire for recognition, Lord. Purify our hearts of this pride. Give us this grace this day: to recognize that we have been called your children not by our might or power, but only by Your grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>