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  • Writer's pictureRandy McKenzie

Who Gets the Credit?

I am in the publishing business. This week we had our semiannual Sales Meeting with the secular publishers. This involves two days of publishers presenting new titles, for books releasing summer of 2022 to our sales team, approximately 35 people. Though I manage the Christian Division, and we have separate meetings and salespeople for that channel, my role in this meeting is to look for books that can crossover into the Christian market, this includes Children's titles with good messages and potential homeschooling titles for the Christian homeschooling market, and also to present the upcoming Christian titles to the secular sales team.

When my time came to present, I complimented the leader of the meeting and the wonderful children's titles the publishers presented. These were beautiful books covering subjects that will make us better people, and the world a better place. Certainly, subjects good to teach our children, like kindness, friendship, love, and diversity. I watched as these publishers took credit for these ideas and accepted the praise and adulations for such wonderful messages. Yet, as a Christian, I knew these messages were God's messages and not their original ideas.

I asked the group where did the ideas to teach our children about these subjects come from? Certainly, the publishers could have thought of these but I pointed to scripture and with each of these areas, kindness, friendship, love, and diversity, I quoted scripture for each area and noted that these words were written over 2,000 years ago. The point I was trying to make is they were selling and promoting books based on the same principles as the Christian books we offer and should be placing these Christian titles into the secular stores too. I felt that this was my mission.

Did it work? I don't know. But I planted the seeds. Now it is in God's hands.

One of the greatest temptations of mankind is to exalt ourselves. We all have desires, the desire to be significant; the desire to have certainty; the desire to have peace, safety, and security; and the desire for our fulfillment. It's natural to desire acceptance and affirmation from others, but there's a danger of idolatry when we make God's word about us instead of Him. We all struggle with temptations, including (and especially) the temptation to make everything about us instead of God.

If God has blessed you with a position of leadership, don’t let it go to your head. You are merely a servant, a messenger. If God has blessed you with teaching abilities, remember that God is ultimately the source. Keep in mind that teachers are judged with greater strictness. Don't exalt yourself. Remain humble, point people to God, and God will continue to use you to bless others. But if you get in the way, God might move you out of the way. Remember the story of Moses and Aaron;

When God told Moses and Aaron to speak to the rock in order to bring forth water for the people of Israel, Moses and Aaron should have simply done their part and reminded the Israelites that God was the source of the miracle. Instead, Moses said, "Shall we bring water for you out of this rock?" (Num. 20:10) Indeed, Moses led the Israelites to think that it was through Moses and Aaron that the water came. It was by this prideful act that Moses sinned by not upholding the Lord as holy in the eyes of the people:

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12)

We can understand why these publishers chose not to mention God.

But “in the real world, it matters who gets credit,” says Karen Dillon, author of the HBR Guide to Office Politics. “That all goes into the bank account of how much value you bring to the organization and plays into promotion decisions, raises, and assignments.”

Some of our greatest fears are that we think we might miss out on something, or that no one will know who we are, miss out on recognition, or will be forgotten. The devil knows this and uses it to sway us to not trust God. An example of this is what he said to Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:1-4

Every one of us owes every ounce of strength we have to God. We owe every fiber of intelligence to God, and the slightest resolve to do good is a gift from him.

God gets glory not from our heroic exertion but from our reliance upon his strength—when we serve as one who serves with the strength which God supplies.

God's will himself to glorify Is not a weight to make us sigh For it is wings to make us fly.

John Piper

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