5 “You must then say in the presence of the Lord your God [. . .] 6 ‘When he Egyptians oppressed and humiliated us by making us their slaves, 7 we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors. He heard our cries and saw our hardship, toil, and oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey!’
– Deuteronomy 26:6-9
When I read this passage I was expecting to read, “Then God called Moses to rescue the people. He split the Red Sea and led the people out of Egypt!” Upon entering the promised land, the people were commanded to give God an offering and say the words above at the altar. I expected them to mention Moses, but that was not part of the ceremony. All the credit was given to God. Moses was used by God, yes, but the one who actually did everything was God Himself.
That seems obvious but is it how we think as Christians? I think we have been so accustomed to seeing people’s names slapped on books, movies, and small group curriculum that we begin to give people the credit. We say things like, “Oh, after listening to Pastor [insert name]’s sermon, my life has changed ever since” or “Small group really changed my life. I have been free from drugs ever since I started!”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging someone’s efforts and blessing them with kind words; however, I think this kind of language makes us forget who truly is behind all of these extraordinary events. If we lived in Moses’ time we would have said, “Wow, after I saw Moses split the Red Sea, my life changed forever” or “Ever since I joined the tribe of Benjamin, I have been free from idolatry!” God is a jealous God; let’s remember that. He wants the glory.
What are some ways you can begin to change the way you speak so you can give God the credit for beautiful blessings in your life? Imagine if the Church began to say the name of Jesus more and say things like, “Jesus changed my life through Pastor [insert name]’s message” or “Jesus delivered me from drugs by using this small group.” Do you see what that does? It puts Jesus in the center. Whether we mention someone else’s name or not, let’s begin to give Jesus the credit. Let’s not steal God’s thunder.