Credit Where Credit is Due
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:
‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!’
Revelation 5:11-12 (NIVUK)
Saint Francis de Sales was a Roman Catholic bishop who lived in the late 16th to early 17th centuries. He wrote something about glory that I quite appreciate:
"Some men become proud and insolent because they ride a fine horse, wear a feather in their hat or are dressed in a fine suit of clothes. Who does not see the folly of this? If there be any glory in such things, the glory belongs to the horse, the bird and the tailor."
Alan Scott summed it up beautifully when he defined worship as giving credit where credit is due. Giving credit where credit is due. I like that definition of worship, because it holds so much truth and yet it is simple enough to understand.
Giving – Worship is costly. It will inevitably cost us something – time, comfort, effort, putting aside distractions (like phones and other screens), etc. – no matter what we worship. Worship is definitely not something that happens to us, but something we choose to give.
Credit – Worship is acknowledging the true worth of the person or thing being worshipped. This begs the question: Is whatever I am choosing to give to worth my offering? Again we have to be honest with ourselves about what we are giving our time and credit to, and whether it is worth it. And this leads us beautifully to the final part of the phrase.
Where credit is due – In my mind there is only Person who is worthy of my worship. There is only one Person who deserves all the credit anyone can give. The angels in John’s revelation knows it too, which is why they recognise Jesus for who he is, and honour him accordingly.
May we see Jesus – the fullness and glory and power and majesty, the humility and love and mercy and kindness, the justice and righteousness – all around us today – in every horse, bird, nice suit – and give God, the creator of all things, the credit due his name.
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash