Prayer: Dearest Source of all of my life, I want to remember to tell about you in a way that is meaningful to others. Please give me wisdom to do this for You. Thank You, Amen.
Scripture: During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. Hebrews 5:7-9 NIV
I can remember as a student in school, my teacher’s teaching us how to reference a source we used in research, a quote or other reference material. It was imperative that we carefully and thoroughly gave credit where credit was due on our bibliography page. As a writer now, it is still of the utmost importance to practice this important lesson I learned many years ago to make sure that readers know how and where information, definitions, stories, Scriptures or statistics come from.
When a person does not reference their source, it is plagiarism, also known as stealing. I think that we would all agree that claiming the glory and credit for something that did not come from us is not only a crime, but also a sin. Imagine sharing an idea that you have been working on with a co-worker and then having them share it at a staff meeting as if it were their own idea. Imagine working with someone on a project and having them take all the credit when the boss or audience came around. Imagine giving everything you have: your blood, sweat, tears, patience, wisdom, and power into something and having someone else take the recognition. Would you ever do something like that?
We all do. At one time or another, maybe even on a weekly basis, God blesses us, strengthens us, gives us a blast of intelligence, creativity or understanding and somehow we forget to praise Him, thank Him, and acknowledge to others how He equipped and enabled us to be successful. We might have a bill that we have no idea how we will pay it and He comes through with an unforeseeable blessing. We might feel like we are coming down with something, perhaps a cold or flu, and then the next morning we feel fine. We may get a promotion, a new position, a grant, finish grading and recording all the papers and tests we assigned, were prepared for a meeting with all of the research and information we needed, made it through the day without raising our voices, had a smooth parent-teacher conference with the world’s most difficult parent, impacted a student’s life in a way that turned them around from a path of certain disaster, made it through another week of indoor recess… the list goes on and on. Does our credit to God go on and on? Do we make sure when someone comments on our good fortune or applauds our brilliance, that we tell them the source of our blessing or is it just easier to smile and say, “Thanks” and take the credit. Do we somehow believe that if we work really hard that we deserve the glory? Do we believe that if a student stays up all night for a week writing their paper that they should receive all the credit for all that is written, without a bibliography, even if they used another person’s resources to come up with their final project? Of course not, and neither can we.
God is the source of every day that I live, every breath that I take, the sustainer of my life and everything that I accomplish from getting out of bed to crawling back into it at night. I cannot do anything of any worth without Him. He amazes me with the ways He presents Himself in the big and small things that happen to me throughout the day, the times He blesses my tongue to burst forth with some great advice or lesson and the times He miraculously binds my big mouth shut. He enables me to press on when I should and wait even when I am bursting at the seams to move on. He enables me to live – He is my Source.
My prayer for you is that you would always reference your Source.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. firstname.lastname@example.org