(Psalm 115:1) Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
When Sally Field won her Oscar for Best Actress in 1984, she gave a really adorable acceptance speech in which she exclaimed, “You like me! Right now, you like me!” In her speech she talked about how much she always wanted to be honored and respected for her work and how this award was the ultimate satisfaction of that desire. Granted, she’s excellent at what she does…
Have you ever just been really good at something? I mean, you’re great at it, excellent even. When you discover your gifts and talents, you have this feeling of accomplishment, and a sense of being set apart from everyone else. It’s even kind of thrilling because it feels like you can finally ease into who you are and what you were meant to do…and even when there are setbacks you just forge on ahead because you now know, “This is why I was born!”
When you’re great at something you get compliments, and oh boy don’t we all love compliments? Even humble people, who are “embarrassed” by compliments, like to be praised. It’s part of our human fabric to enjoy being admired and lauded…especially when it’s something that we LOVE to do, or something that we’ve really worked hard to master and achieve.
Does the glory belong to us? When we graciously accept a compliment, do we ever stop to turn it back around to the one who is responsible for our success? That’s a hard one. It’s something that most people would have to pause and be deliberate about doing…myself included. Mind you, I always thank God for the the talents with which He has blessed me, but rarely do I think to give Him credit at the moment when I receive a compliment. I’m not mindful of that, hardly ever.
I have a dear friend who is a phenomenal singer…just so blessed…and her voice, it carries this anointing that is very obvious. When she sings, you are touched, you are captivated. I have overheard her several times receiving compliments from people and she ALWAYS gives the glory back to God. She makes a marked effort to make sure others know that all of the “feels” they get from her singing has nothing to do with her and everything to do with God Almighty. I admire that about my friend.
Here’s the thing…it’s okay to shine! Shine on…and do so brilliantly. God made us to be lights in the darkness. Matthew 5: 14-16 tells us, “14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” The light that we exude, no matter HOW it manifests, is purposed not for us to receive attention and acclaim, but instead it burns bright to illuminate Christ…to magnify God (which literally means to make Him BIGGER). And that, my friends, is how we reach people who are lost in the dark.
So do your best, be excellent, be amazing, and then…give God all of the glory and honor that He is due, because in the heavenly places, something extraordinary takes place when we credit God by thanking Him.
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
There is power in our praise and gratitude. We are joined with Heaven as one, and everything that we release here is released in Heaven. God is more than worthy of the glory for every victory, all of the successes we enjoy, and each little compliment that is thrown our way. So if we really believe that God has been faithful and good to us, then it should be easy to remember, “Not to us…”
Prayer: Father God, thank you for creating me with specific gifts and talents that you saw fit for me to possess in order to serve you the way I was created to do. Help me to never take your glory unto myself, but to always turn it right back around to you, for I recognize that without you I am but a candle without a flame. Not to me, Lord, but all to YOU. Amen.