Have you ever been tempted to give yourself the glory for something you did, instead of giving God the glory?
It’s hard not to, right? I mean, you did it, why not take the credit for it? This is a hard lesson, but it’s also a great lesson for your children to learn too. It helps them understand that we should always give thanks to God for everything He does.
Let’s play out a scenario here… You’ve just finished doing something awesome for the Lord. Maybe it was lead a Bible study at your church, organize an event at your child’s school, plan an outreach event for your church that brought in many people, or even led a group of people on a mission trip. Whatever it was, it was a HUGE success! Everyone is saying what a great job you did. The pastor makes you stand up in front of everyone while they applaud you. “Great job! You are awesome!” Everyone rises to their feet and gives praise to you for a job well done. And you love it! You love the attention. You love that people are giving you credit for all the hard work you did. You deserve it for sure. Doing this thing that God called you to do wasn’t easy. Thankfully others recognize that and are giving you praise!
What is wrong with this picture? Some of you may say nothing. It’s okay to be recognized. And you are right. There is nothing wrong with being recognized. The problem comes when we are taking the credit for what God has done. The problem is when our hearts are in it for the wrong reasons. The problem is when we do what God calls us to do for selfish reasons and not for what God wants us to do. The problem is when we boast of what we have done. It is NOT right to take credit when all the glory needs to go to God. God gave you some great gifts in order to do the thing which He called you to do. God is using those gifts for His purposes and not yours. You are God’s vessel. You are being used by God to to share His name with others. God is using you, yes, but for what He wants and NOT for what you want.
So how do I enjoy the praise, thanks, and pats on the back, without losing sight of God? And how do I teach this to my kids?
Here are four ways you can make sure you give God the glory and not yourself:
Before you do anything, pray A LOT! Ask for God’s will to be revealed to you. Ask God to give you wisdom in all you do for Him.
2. Study Scripture
Dive into the Bible and fill yourself with His words. Let them flow through you. It will be helpful to know His Word and it will keep you from washing up on the shore, having forgotten all about God in what you are doing. A great Scripture to memorize to help you with this is Psalm 115:1:
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and your faithfulness.
3. Praise God At All Times
In everything you do, thank God. Thank God for the good things and the bad things in your life. Everything that happens, God can use to do His will. Praise God at all times!
4. Say “Go God!”
A friend of mine says this all the time, especially when she is thanked for doing something. She says it helps keep her focused on God and what He does through her. It keeps the emphasis off her and puts it on God, which is exactly where it should be. So the next time you are thanked for something you did for the Lord, just say “Go God!”
God has each of us where we are for a reason. He has us there to serve HIS purpose. He wants to do great things through us. However, we must be willing to step out of that spotlight and make sure God shines brightly and not us. When we learn to do that, God will bless us so much more. And what a great a great example we will set for our children when we put God first!