SOMEONE ELSE... RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.. AND AS YOU LISTENED... TOOK CREDIT FOR IT???
Decades ago...God taught me an important lesson about giving gifts and getting the credit for it. We were in church one Sunday morning and there were two boys - about six and eight years old - in the pew in front of us. It was cold outside and their clothing was threadbare. It was a large church and I didn't really know the mom or her boys. I didn't have to know them to see they needed some clothes. I had a debate with the Lord right there. I explained to Him that our family was also very tight financially - and - while I wanted to help these boys, I did not have the funds. The next day, an unexpected check arrived for $275.00. It's like the Lord whispered, "There's your funds."
So my husband and I went to the store immediately and spent every dollar buying those two boys new and warmer clothes. We drove to the church and handed the bags to the church secretary with the instructions that she NOT tell the Mom WHO bought the clothes. She agreed. I felt good inside.
The following Weds. night at church, the pastor asked if anyone had anything to thank God about. The woman stood, with tears in her eyes, and explained what this gift meant to her and her boys. She said "I want to thank whoever did this for us. I can never thank you enough." And she sat down.
MY HEART WAS ABOUT TO EXPLODE WITH JOY. I was happy...UNTIL... UNTIL... UNTIL... another woman stood up right after her and said "I'm so happy to hear that your family was blessed by what I bought them" and on and on and on.
WHAT??? SHE'S TAKING CREDIT FOR MY GIFT?
What kind of woman takes credit for another person's gift???
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I said I didn't want any credit for the good deed.. and now I was being challenged to put my money where my mouth was. It's one thing to not want the credit, but quite another thing to have to remain silent while someone else TAKES THE CREDIT.
As it turns out, the woman who took credit for my good deed had purchased two scarves for the boys. Two scarves?? She took MY credit for two scarves??? The nerve! I gave ALL I HAD.. I gave THE EXTRA MONEY WE COULD HAVE SPENT ON OURSELVES. $275.00 WAS a whole lot of money. That woman's gift DID NOT COMPARE TO MY GIFT.. OR MY SACRIFICE. And she was taking - AND GETTING - THE CREDIT FOR IT. It's true I didn't want the credit but I never considered that someone else would take it.
"Ahhhh... Lord... that's how You feel sometimes? When I think I have accomplished something without You? When I think I have something that You have not supplied? When I take credit for Your gifts to me?"
Christmas is the time we remember the gift God gave us when He sent Jesus. It cost Jesus EVERYTHING. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
So that I could have everything He has.
So that I could be everything He is.
We are all NOTHING WITHOUT HIM.
As I walk though life, hidden in Him, I must always remember that whatever I have, I have because of Jesus. Whatever I do, I do because of Jesus. Whatever I am, I am because of Jesus.
Whatever we have, whatever we accomplish, whatever good we spread, whatever LIFE we announce to the world.. is ALL BECAUSE JESUS WAS WILLING TO GIVE UP HIS LIFE SO THAT WE COULD HAVE IT.
God remains silent while we take His credit. AS IF.. anyone's voice, or musical skills, or ability to make money or service to others is done IN OUR OWN STRENGTH. AS IF.. someone's pleasing sound voice is what is drawing the listener to God AND NOT the conviction and drawing power of The Holy Spirit. AS IF, our advancement at our jobs is all because of our own wisdom, and not because of the favor of the Lord. AS IF it has nothing to do with the GIFT of GOD... that we would be NOTHING without THE GIFT OF GOD - Jesus.
CHRISTMAS IS THE DAY TO REMEMBER THAT ANY GIFT WE HAVE, ANY GIFT WE GIVE AND ANY ABILITY TO HAVE AND GIVE THE GIFTS WE HAVE AND GIVE IS BECAUSE God was willing to become a baby.
JUST BECAUSE SOME OF US TAKE THE CREDIT,
DOESN'T MEAN WE DESERVE IT.
What kind of person takes credit for Another Person's Gift?
"Every is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."