Who gets the credit?
A Christian Science perspective: Ultimately, it doesn't matter who gets the credit; what matters is that the work is getting done.
My buddy Bill shared this quotation with me recently: âThere is no end to what you can accomplish if (or when) you donât care who gets the credit.â These are the words of Florence Luscomb, an American architect, womenâs suffrage activist, and one of the first female graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ms. Luscombâs words prompt me to act with greater unselfishness to accomplish more as part of a collective whole.
This idea of who gets the credit speaks to me as I find myself drawn to organize, plan, and gather people for social or cause-related events. Itâs easy to let the details, excitement, and personal ambition of planning a successful event drive things. Sometimes Iâve hoped to get a âgold starâ from friends or colleagues, instead of having the more gentle desire to love a neighbor and glorify God through every aspect of the event.
But Iâve been learning that God is the impetus, the spark, for all life. Life as spiritual zest underlies every cause and human activity â never tangled by a human ego vying for recognition. In relinquishing my ego or plan to Godâs ultimate control, I see that thereâs no limit to the good that He is capable of.
When I was in college, I was the head of a student organization. We shared bulletin board space with another organization that had a similar mission. One day, when updating our section of the bulletin board, I noticed our allotted space significantly reduced by the encroaching display of the other organization. Instantly I felt territorial and indignant. âHow disrespectful!â I exclaimed to my friend. âHow can our organization do its work if there isnât a mutual respect?â Quite humbly, my friend reminded me that we were both working for the same cause. Ultimately, it didnât matter who got the credit; what mattered was that the work was getting done. I got it.
I continue to learn that with every endeavor we can tag it back to God â give Him the honor and glory, as the Lordâs Prayer says. Itâs more important to see the Divine at work than to latch onto a project and seek personal recognition. Itâs not that our efforts are insignificant; they just carry a lot more weight when grounded in God â the great I Am â as Moses proved. When he was tasked with leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, God reminded him, âI AM THAT I AMâ (Ex. 3:14).
More recently, Iâd been talking with a friend about spirituality. Weâd had many thoughtful exchanges on this topic. In fact, he said heâd long resented organized religion, though he now expressed an interest in finding a community of spiritual thinkers. Several months later, he found a church community that felt to him like a good fit. At first, I felt disappointed. âWhy didnât he choose my church?â â in essence, Why couldnât I get the credit? But then I realized that he was making space for God in his life. And that was more important to me.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor and the Christian Science Church, echoed American abolitionist Wendell Phillips when she wrote, âTruth cannot be stereotyped; it unfoldeth forever. âOne on Godâs side is a majorityâ â (âNo and Yes,â pp. 45-46).
Itâs pretty amazing to see how big the impact can be when we are working on His side.
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