Friday, February 20, 2015

credit

Lately, God has been challenging me with a prideful matter: taking credit. Of recent, there seems to be a theme of situations that have come up where either I, or someone I love, have not been acknowledged for our efforts... or worse, have been misrepresented, undermined, and even belittled. Not always intentionally, mind you. But nonetheless, it has happened. Internally, I know that truth and fairness can easily be distorted in this corrupt world, but such injustices leave me feeling defensive and... well, a bit slighted.  But why?  What do I have to prove?

It's especially interesting when this happens because my former Human Resources Management side would always encourage the push and promotion of one's accomplishments and abilities - - taking credit when and where credit is due, all for the sake of advancement. Glass ceilings and tough competition are quite real, and, as experience has shown so many, you really can't get ahead if you don't put yourself center stage and sing your own praises... or can you?

God has really been challenging me to reconsider this mindset.  To reflect on what taking credit really means and why so many of us, especially women, feel the need to defend ourselves to our husbands, our families, our friends, our employers, and our co-workers in order to receive it.  I think it all goes back to the submission thing, which I personally seem to wrestle with the Lord on a daily basis. We want to be recognized and treated fairly.  We want to be heard, and seen, and acknowledged, and respected.  However, when we focus on our own attention, we are robbing the attention away from Jesus.  For doesn't all credit belong to The Lord?  Are we not to submit everything unto Him?  And in doing this, doesn't He promise to fight for our honor?  Yes.  All we need to be is still... always relaxed in His peace and looking toward His glory.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)

The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes.  (Deuteronomy 1:30)

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you. (Deuteronomy 3:22)

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:5b-7)


Instead of casting all my anxiety upon the Lord, I frequently dispute with Him over the matter of credit, crying out, "Wait a minute, Lord!!!... I knew that answer!  I told that joke! I had that brilliant idea! I accomplished that incredible task! I overcame that huge obstacle! Not them!!! Me! MEEEE!"  (Sigh.  I know.  I see the big "MEEEE" with those four blinding "E's"trailing like a comet in the sky...  Forgive me, Father.  All glory is Yours forever.)

But back to this issue.  What is credit?  Credit is centered around a loan.  Something temporarily entrusted that must later be restored, replaced and/or returned.  And what is usually credited?  Well... wealth, honor, trustworthiness, time.  These are things deferred with credit.  These are benefits entrusted to us by the King of all things.  Our humor... a benefit.  Our creativity... a benefit.  Our abilities... a benefit.  Our LIFE... a benefit!  How easy it is to forget that we are not the Creator.  We are merely His creatures.  How conveniently we loose sight of the fact that every benefit, every moment, belongs ultimately to Him and thus, should be directed toward His honor... His glory.  In this life, we are merely entrusted the time He grants, the wealth He owns, the acknowledgement He is due.  Yes, the true reality is this:  Every credit belongs to the Lord!  All kudos and brownie points will be repaid to Him... and only Him!

So, why fight so hard to receive that all-important pat on the back?  Why do we insist on being recognized rather than point all recognition upward toward Jesus?  Again, the matter is pride-based.  Rather than utilize our spiritually educational credit hours to learn as much as we can from our Heavenly Teacher, we are greedy for His rewards and hunger for a premature glory that, in fact, is not our property to take.  As such, we take His credit.  We become identity thieves to the Savior's Name and unfairly, selfishly, choose to discredit the rightful owner of all wealth, all honor, all trustworthiness, all time.  Folks, that is sin.  That is idolizing ourselves.  That is selfish, ugly, unhealthy pride.

However, no matter how hard mankind may try to distort the truth and take credit for things that are not his to claim, the reality of God's Kingdom is this: Nobody can short-change the King of kings for He will not share His glory with another!

I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. (Isaiah 42:8)

The good news is, in Jesus Name, prideful habits can be remedied.  Instead of taking credit, we can learn the new habit of humility and return all glory back to our deserving Creator.  Claiming His holiness, we can surrender our hearts and well being over to the generous Savior who promises us unmeasurable love in His Word.  This is important.  In fact, this is our purpose for living and should be our #1 goal: Give God Glory! For God created us to love and worship Him.  He instructs us to fear and obey His perfect Law so that we might intimately know His Way.  He is the focus.  He alone is always the reward.  This is a big shift in thinking when it comes to receiving the rewards of credit.  But do not worry about being short-changed... for Jesus never leaves us with less.  In Him, He promises us unmatched joy.  He offers us the best life imaginable and a glorious future in His abundance!  I don't know about you, but I want to live THAT life!  I want to fulfill what I was created to do and enjoy the intimate presence of the Most High God more than I want to steal His credit!  Yes, I prefer His favor and friendship more than the attention of others!  For He is GOD!  He is everything!!!

If you agree, I pray that you will join me today (and every day) with a heart of humility and surrender... giving the Lord your own honor to manage and use for His good.  Yes, this is the day to give Jesus the glory.  Give all credit back to the King who rightfully owns and deserves every praise!  Bow down and worship the God from whom all blessings flow... and be thankful for every one of His benefits!

Be still, Believers... always looking to Him!  Always honoring His Name!

LOVE LOVE LOVE in Jesus Name!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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