I recall the field trip as clearly as if it happened yesterday. Baldinger’s Food from All the Nations, a small store nestled near the town of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, was established in 1933 and was brimming with all you needed to satiate your sweet tooth. Our students, armed with envelopes of spending money, could hardly contain themselves, anxious to walk across those old-school wooden floors, select from bins of penny candy, and pay at the old-fashioned gem of an antique cash register. But that’s not why the day stands out to me. The visit remains fresh due to an incident involving one of our youngest students, an incident that would have completely evaded my attention if it were not for the guilty conscience of this young girl. In the course of the visit, she stole a piece of candy and slipped it into her pocket. After a tearful confession, she would return to the store with her parents, pay for the candy, and offer a heart-felt apology. She learned early in life that stealing is a no-no, an offense against God, sin.
Although most of us would agree that stealing someone else’s property is an egregious iniquity, there is a subtle stealing that occurs daily, a theft reprehensible in God’s eyes, a sin that takes a concerted effort to avoid. Anytime we direct attention to ourselves rather than focus that attention on God, we are stealing His glory, and God takes His glory seriously as He emphatically states, “I will not give my glory unto another.”
Joseph is one of a small team of Bible characters who is never presented in a negative light. He is a model of faith, patience, leadership, and forgiveness. During his wrongful imprisonment in Egypt, he gained a reputation as a moral man, an interpreter of dreams. When a powerful Pharaoh is perplexed and bewildered over some strange dreams, Joseph was summoned. When asked to interpret the dream, Joseph’s wise response was “It is not in me; God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” Centuries later, a psalmist would echo that sentiment, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”
We serve a gracious God, but He does not share His glory. “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.” When we accomplish a difficult task, succeed in a ministry, or attain an unreachable goal…when the accolades flow, who gets the glory? Do we direct that praise and glory upward to the One to Whom it is due, or pull it inward? Humility is tough, but stealing is sin.
Psalm 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.
God, how often I have stolen from Your glory and not directed the praise toward You. Keep us humble in spirit, always directing the honor upward.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2559-62b699050b432' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2559&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2559-62b699050b432' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2559-62b699050b432' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>