GIFTS, GIVING, TAKING CREDIT

 

Psalm 81:1-10 ̶̶ ̶̶ The Message

A song to our strong God!
a shout to the God of Jacob!
Anthems from the choir, music from the band,
sweet sounds from lute and harp,
Trumpets and trombones and horns:
it’s festival day, a feast to God!
A day decreed by God,
solemnly ordered by the God of Jacob.
He commanded Joseph to keep this day
so we’d never forget what he did in Egypt.
I hear this most gentle whisper from One
I never guessed would speak to me:
“I took the world off your shoulders,
freed you from a life of hard labor.
You called to me in your pain;
I got you out of a bad place.
I answered you from where the thunder hides,
I proved you at Meribah Fountain.
“Listen, dear ones—get this straight;
O Israel, don’t take this lightly.
Don’t take up with strange gods,
don’t worship the latest in gods.
I’m God, your God, the very God
who rescued you from doom in Egypt,
Then fed you all you could eat,
filled your hungry stomachs.

# # #

Hearing, Talking, Talking Action
Psalm 81:1-10

There is an apocryphal
story about a farmer who
was complimented on
the beautiful farm God had given him.
The farmer replied that,
yes, it was a beautiful farm, now,
but the person should have seen
the disrepair it was in
when God gave it to him.
In today’s text
we hear God’s gentle assurance.
Despite that the one
hearing God’s words
never thought they would
ever hear God speak at all,
God did heard their cry for help.
God set them free from slavery,
fed them and nurtured them.
Loved them.
However, God
saw a need to admonish them
to not stray off after false gods.
Really?
Wow, what a bunch of ingrates!
What silliness to snub the one
who had done so much for them!
But then
I wonder just how true
I am to this God
who rescues me,
bestows gifts on me,
and feeds my empty belly?
How many times
have I prayed for things
that I have ended up taking the credit for,
and not publically
thanking God?
Maybe I don’t worship
at the altar of some weird
god,
but I do seem to worship
at the altar
of my own pride.
I think there is a balance
between going
through life,
giving thanks to God
for every little thing,
constantly,
and never accepting any credit for anything,
with false humility,
and never having any accountability
for any actions,
and giving God
recognition
for our talents and gifts,
with a full understanding
of the hard work it took
on my part
to hone them into
the beautiful things
they have become.
God gives us gifts
every second
of the day
and we use them
as best we can,
and hopefully for God’s glory.
I think the balance in this
is to give God credit
for the gifts we have received,
but also accept credit
for our own work in the process.
Thinking back to the farmer,
what are the gifts God has given
you to do God’s work,
and what work
have you had to do
to make those gifts ready
for that work?

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