WHO GETS THE CREDIT?

Over the last few weeks I have been doing a word study in the Bible on the subject of pride.  So far I have found 60 verses that mention pride.  We often use the word “pride” as a complimentary term such as, “She takes pride in her work”.  In that sense it is a good thing because it means that a person wants to do their best. But, none of these verses indicates that we should feel good about being called proud.  God makes it very clear in His Word that pride is NOT one of the fruits of the spirit.  In fact, many of the fruit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 are the exact opposite of pride such as meekness.  Love and peace are the manifestations of a humble spirit not someone who is filled with pride.

When we look at problems and strife in our life we can often trace it to a root sin of pride.  Proverbs 28:25 tells us, “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife.”  Think about this statement.  When someone is determined to be right and is too proud to apologize, it causes all kinds of misery.  Marriages dissolve, churches split, jobs are lost, people are even killed and the proud perpetrator ends up in jail all because of pride.

When our Heavenly Father repeatedly mentions something in the Bible it means He is trying to get our attention.  The saying goes that repetition aids learning.  God is the best teacher and He knows that we need to hear something over and over and over in order for it to sink into our proud hearts and dull brains.  We have been taught in the last few decades that “we are worth it”.  That was an advertising phrase used to get us to buy expensive items.  Unfortunately that has sunk in to our thinking making the average American think that they have rights and privileges to demand that others recognize how special they are. As Christians we should understand that in God’s eyes we are nothing but dirty rotten sinners. (Gal. 6:3; I Jn. 1:8; Isa. 64:6)  It doesn’t matter what level of education we have completed, how much money we have amassed or how noble our family name is.  We have no right to boast except in the fact that we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and God has adopted us as His child.  If we do manage to have some measure of earthly success, it is only because God gave us the talents and strength to accomplish what we needed to do.

Pride can cause us to be angry with God because we somehow think that He cheated us out of our “rights”.  We mistakenly believe that our Heavenly Father promised us that life would be perfect.  We are not supposed to struggle financially, have disappointments, or lose anyone that we love.  Where did we get that idea?!  I vividly remember a time about 25 years ago when I questioned God.  We had a Christian Camp that we had built.  My husband had erected a storage barn back in the woods that he used to store all the things that were given to us as well as building materials that he had scavenged from barns he tore down.  Our old tractor was also parked in that building.  While we went out to dinner with friends the barn caught on fire and everything in it was lost.  It was thousands of dollars worth of materials.  The next morning I was driving out to camp to view the damage crying and praying.  In all my earthly wisdom, I complained to God that we had given up much to serve Him.  We were living by faith and had very little.  In my humble opinion we had been faithful and certainly deserved to be rewarded not punished!  Why would he take these treasures from us?  It was the classic question that I am sure our Heavenly Father has heard thousands of times.  A thought came to my mind which I am sure was God’s voice, “Why not you?  What makes you more special than any other Christian?”.  Oops, the Lord certainly knows how to put me in my place! 🙂

I was operating on the assumption that, if we followed Him, everything would always go my way.  Yet God never promised us that life on this sinful earth would be easy.  Nor did He tell us that once we become a Christian we are better than anyone else.  If by God’s grace He has called us to full time Christian ministry, that still gives us no reason to feel superior to those that are working a secular job and faithfully serving in the church.  Any success we see in whatever ministry we are involved in is only by the grace of God.  He could have brought that success without our help; but, he graciously allows us to be a part of His work and reap the eternal rewards.  When we are praised for doing something in the church, at work or at home, we should thank the Lord that He gave us the ability to do that task and people were blessed.

I have found that the people I most admire are those with a humble, servant attitude.  They seek to help others not caring who gets the credit.  Their reward is not the praise of man.  It is to see those that they try to help making good decisions and going forward to serve the Lord.  They may receive the honor of man and other rewards here on earth.  But the ultimate goal of these humble people is to hear from their Heavenly Father the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Let me challenge you to check your motivation.  Why are you doing what you do with the 24 hours that God gives you each day?  Do you quit if no one notices your “hard” work?  Do you get mad when you do not get a thank you?  Do you ALWAYS have to be right?  Is selfish pride keeping you from admitting there could be another opinion or method to accomplish the same goal?  Do you have trouble admitting you could be wrong?  All of these problems point to pride which God in His Holy Word calls sin.

We are all infested with this sin at one time or another.  It is time to ask the Lord to help us see the truth behind our actions and humble ourselves by asking for forgiveness.  We all need to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us daily that we might serve God and others with the right attitude.

It has been said that it would be amazing what could be accomplished if everyone worked like it all depended on them and no one cared who got the credit.  

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