Have you ever felt slighted? Sure you have. I have too. My top love language is words of affirmation. For me, it is more than a pat on the back and an attaboy. I want people to see the effort and work I've put into something and then appreciate my part of its success. "Good Job!" is great, but hearing "That was good, I loved how you..." is even better. Sometimes things are a long string of events that lead to the end, or think of it as a puzzle, many pieces make the whole. I love doing ministry with others. There have been countless times where I kicked something off as an idea or began its first movement only to delegate and have someone else take it to the finish line. And as you might guess, those taking it to the finish line are being congratulated and no one even knows that the one at the beginning with the idea, the vision, and the gift of delegation had anything to do with it at all. Sometimes things are shared. Once while I was doing youth ministry I had a friend doing youth ministry in a distant city. He was stumped for what to do at his event and I shared what we had done recently. He took what I did, almost verbatim, and used it for his group. He drew great accolades for his work and his "fresh idea." His wife even posted on social media about HIS great idea and its success. Needless to say I was somewhat perturbed that I wasn't given any credit. No credit for beginning things, even if it is the forming idea and no credit for the original when shared with someone else. And as a person who feels love through affirmation, it always hurts.
Who Gets the Credit?
And here is the truth. When we call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ the credit goes to Him, not us. If I allow myself and if not redirected by my wonderful wife, I can spend a fair amount of time wallowing over the fact that I didn't get the credit I deserved. I sit at the starting line pouting when I should be at the finish line celebrating the success of the idea. When I should be thrilled with joy over how someone was empowered, I sulk, sucking all the power back from them to my pitiful self. When I should feel a great sense of pride that my idea or event was successful for myself AND someone else, I waste time waiting on a shout out. The person who crosses the finish line, the person who has been empowered, and the person who takes a great idea and makes it work again are being given credit. Hopefully, they won't let it stay there. Hopefully they take the credit and accolades they receive and reflect back to God and His goodness.
My great ideas. My gift of delegation. My success that helps others. These are not mine! They are the Lord's! The credit goes to Him.
Someone being saved is for His glory!
A well preached word is for His glory!
An engaging class is for His glory!
A mountaintop experience laid out for others is for His glory!
Who gets the credit?
God, Jesus, Spirit!