Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness! Psalm 115:1
Any time I took a course that required essays or research papers in high school and college, there was one thing I found extremely tedious and annoying. This was citations with a reference/bibliography page. No matter who my teacher was at the time, citations were an absolute must. If they were excluded, you would not only fail but probably be accused of plagiarism. That’s no bueno.
For the longest time, I didn’t really understand why teachers went to such drastic measures to ensure citations and enforcing punishment for the lack thereof. It’s not like the authors got reimbursed every time someone cited their works. How would they ever know if they got credit or not? How would they know whether or not I took their information and made it seem like I thought it all up myself with my own intellect? They probably wouldn’t know.
Now imagine a scenario where these authors DID get notified every time someone accessed their work. With this hypothetical technology where a smart computer would immediately match used information to the original text, the authors would instantaneously know if their works were cited as well.
Well, the scenario is quite literal when the Author is God, except He doesn’t rely on any software. As an all knowing and all powerful God, don’t you think He knows whether or not we give Him credit? When you ace that test, sing that song, speak words of truth or wisdom, or even take that amazing scenic picture…who do you give the glory to?
PLEASE believe me when I say that when I ask myself these same questions I constantly wrestle with the fact that I have such an idolatrous heart that wants to elevate myself above my own Creator. I cannot help but be disgusted to be in my own skin whenever I realize that I haven’t given God the credit due to Him. I have nothing and no one to boast but Christ! (If you want to hear a convicting message about Idolatry, I would recommend this message on Psalm 115.)
This world says that you should rise to top on YOUR own two feet and that YOUR accomplishments are what defines you. When you wrestle with these thoughts and pressure from your peers or even your parents, remember that when you placed your trust in Jesus and committed your life to Him you received a new identity in Him! Your identity is not in your handiwork. Your identity is in Christ! How amazing is that? Don’t be a plagiarizer or a thief. When you use your talents and blessings, remind yourself that they are all manufactured by God and intended for the praise of His name! To God be the glory!