By Jerry Ousley
Sometimes we love the praise of man don’t we? Those pats on the back and all those “at-a-boys” can really make us feel good. Often it can be the very reason we do good things; we desire the compliments of others. Let me illustrate with something that happened just recently to me.
Part of the ministry of Spirit Bread is sending Bibles into various African nations. Many of these nations use English as a second language and a good number of the people speak it fluently. Several other people contribute regularly to this ministry because they see the need and benefit of getting a Bible into the hands of someone else. Once they begin to read and understand who can tell how many more they will lead into the Kingdom? It is a wonderful, though very costly ministry. Of course Bibles in the United States are relatively cheap if you don’t go with the expensive bindings and so forth. But the expensive part is the shipping. On the average, it costs around $5.00 for the Bible but it takes another $8.00 to ship it. So it costs an average of $14.00 each to send these Bibles overseas.
The other day we went to the Post Office with seventeen packages going to different ministries who distribute Bibles to their people. These are often small church groups or evangelistic ministries who cannot afford to purchase Bibles for their people and because of their small size are overlooked by the larger organizations who give away Bibles. That’s where we come in. We seek out (but more often we are sought out) those in need of Bibles. We have a backlog of groups needing Bibles that dates back as much as a year. As we get the money to purchase and ship Bibles we work on that list. Anyway, we had received enough money to ship 112 Bibles. The cost was over $900.00 just for the shipping. The lady taking care of me at the Post Office commented on “what a good thing we were doing.” Sometimes I’m not good with compliments. She actually had said, “What a good thing your church is doing.” Of course, right now we aren’t pastors of a congregation but minister through writing both on the Internet and books. So I blurted out, “It’s not a church but we are doing it individually.” That impressed her even more.
Now, my intentions weren’t to give all the praise to me, but that’s the way it came out. After I left and returned home I got to thinking about the situation. I thought of the other people who give to help with this service and frankly, I couldn’t do it without them. I had cut them out all together and had taken all the credit.
This resulted in yet another occurrence of me sucking on toes as I sat there, realizing what I had done, with my big foot in my mouth. The only thing I could do was to swallow my pride (being careful not to swallow my toes) and call the lady at the Post Office and explain that I wasn’t in this service alone, but that several other people were helping with the costs and supplying Bibles. I had to make the call, and I did. So was I really good? Actually, not; I had taken a good thing and robbed others of their portion of that praise. I did make it right, but I should have made it right the first time.
We aren’t as good as we think we are. We’ve been talking about how God can cause the earth to quake merely by His presence and how that He can be a fierce God. It is to illustrate the awesomeness of His power. But the thought in Amos is concluded by saying, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” (Amos 1:7). Even though God is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, and always present, He is also good, and each and every day that we live proves that. Often we are disobedient, or we rob God of the glory by taking the credit ourselves. Yet He is good; He is our strong and mighty fortress when we get into trouble, and He will remind us when we do wrong. It may mean that we have to swallow our pride and risk embarrassment to make it right, but He will give us that opportunity.
Despite our disobedience, regardless our labor for recognition by man, still He knows those who really trust Him. We may look like we trust God on the outside but only God knows what is truly in our hearts. He knows why we do the things we do and He knows our motives and attitudes. That’s a good thing because we can never pull the wool over God’s eyes, and because He knows we can be certain that He will always be there for us, forgiving us when we mess up because He really does know our hearts. Do we really trust God? In light of how good He is, we should
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of five books, “Soul Challenge”, “Soul Journey” “Ordeal” “The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional” and his first novel “The Shoe Tree.” Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>