Day 26: Credit

Paper Tigers & Impressing God

A Write 31 Days Series

There is no limit to what a man can do who does not care who gains the credit for it.
— anonymous

A minister friend, Angel Martinez, like to change that quote to say, "There is no limit to what God could accomplish if no one cared about getting the credit."

We live in a time in history in which fame is easily accessible, and it is easy to blur the lines between ministry callings and celebrity.  It is called influence instead of fame because that sounds more spiritual.

No judgement from me.  I buy the books, follow on Twitter, take notes in the conferences, and listen to the interviews.  I do all the things.

As someone who has a dream to publish a Christian book, I wrestled with a lot of feelings surrounding this issue.  I've asked myself if I just want fame.  Do I want credit?

It is easy to see where this might be a question when it comes to producing media like a book.  The truth is that this is a question at every level of ministry.  Find the smallest town church, and I guarantee that the church staff and volunteers have concerns about getting credit for their gifts to the church, their good works in their community.  It is human nature to crave recognition.

It is a common occurrence to be recognized for a secular accomplishment and take credit for the remarkable achievement.  In many cases, the man or woman being honored knows the Lord, and he or she decides to give glory to the Lord for giving them life, talent, ability, and good timing to be recognized.  They realize it would be foolish to take credit when God has made everything about the moment possible.

In ministry, the disciple, whether he or she receives a paycheck from a church or not,  should also know that it would be foolish to take credit for any good work.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
— James 1:16-18 ESV

We should know that we, as humans, have absolutely no power to make someone receive Jesus.  The Holy Spirit must draw someone to Christ.  Christ must stand at their heart's door and knock.  This is a work of God, and we cannot manufacture it.

[Jesus said,] No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
— John 6:44 ESV

Works of God do not end at just salvation.  God is completely sovereign.  He makes all the decisions.  God is already at work in the world around us, in my community and in yours.  We can choose to join what He is doing.  God will sometimes ask us to join Him in what He is doing.  When we join Him, we work with God, but He is doing the work.  We will never know until Heaven how many believers have had a part in fulfilling God's plan.  Any victory for the Kingdom usually includes multiple seeds planted, multiple prayers, and a move of the Holy Spirit.  He deserves the credit.

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
— Romans 11:36 ESV

Click to return to series table of contents.

Here's a song.  Seriously, the 2000s were the best music.