Misdirected Accolades

"Give credit to whom credit is due." That's the famous quote by Samuel Adams we are taught as youngsters, and reminded all throughout our lives. We should never take credit as our own for something someone else has done. It's an interesting predicament for Christians because, at the forefront, credit is always due to God first in all that we do.

Reinhard Bonnke said, "Even Jesus never commended people. He always commended their faith." This is an important distinction.

It's important because we must recognize the source of our gifts, abilities, talents, and blessings. I was reminded of this today as I read Luke 11. Jesus was teaching on the source of His power when all of a sudden a woman from the crowd cried out, "God bless your mother - the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you" (Luke 11:27). Jesus, who had just demonstrated His deity by casting out demons and knowing the thoughts of the people immediately said, "But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice" (Luke 11:28).
Clearly, Jesus respected his earthly mother. He loved her even as He hung on the cross and made sure someone would take care of her. But what He was telling this woman in the crowd was, It is our faith lived out through obedience that results in our blessings. In fact, it was Mary's act of faith that changed the trajectory of her life when she said to the angel Gabriel, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true" (Luke 1:38). Mary heard a message directly from God and by faith, she put it into practice.

Even though Mary acted in faith, she doesn't get credit for the miracle because it was the Holy Spirit who came upon her (Luke 1:35).

Far too often, we give credit to a person or people when we should be admiring the power that resides within them through their willingness to surrender to the Holy Spirit. Their actions should be measured by the functionality of their faith, and it should be their faith that is commended not them personally. When we put too much emphasis on the person, we run the risk of being disappointed if and when that person's actions are not faithful or faith-filled. Our eyes immediately go from Jesus to the person instead of resting on Jesus and Jesus alone.
It should not be Mary herself that amazes us and who we esteem. It should be the faith she displayed which led to her obedience to do the will of the Father. In her own power, she could not do what needed to be done to bear the Savior, but her faith allowed her to be a part of it. Mary had a functioning faith.

What is it that you are being asked to do that you've never been able to do? What kind of leap are you being asked to take? It is called a "leap of faith" for a reason. Our leap demonstrates our faith. We are not leaping into the unknown...we are leaping to the Known.  A faith-filled life is just that; a life filled with faith believing in the goodness and greatness of a mighty God in any and all circumstances. 

We need to stop giving the accolades to people and instead give the glory to God. When we put the accolades on people, we discount and dismiss the spiritual. We focus on what we can do instead of all that He wants to do. If we give ourselves too much credit, His Spirit might just let us figure out how powerless we are without Him. Let us pray that doesn't happen.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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1 Comment

Maria Avila - April 14th, 2016 at 1:48am

Amen, I love this. Give credit where credits due. It is the power of Christ working in and through us that moves us to do or accomplish things, not our own strength.