We all like a little “atta-girl” or “atta-boy” every now and again, don’t we? You know what I mean, that satisfaction we get when we’ve been acknowledged for a job well-done, right?
One of my favorite little treasures in the book of Romans relates directly to this and is tucked into one, small line, near the end of this glorious book. Check this out:
I, Tertius, the one writing this letter for Paul, send my greetings, too, as one of the Lord’s followers. Romans 16:22, NLT
“Wait…who is Tertius?”, perhaps you’re saying right now. “I thought Romans was written by Paul, not a ghost writer!”
Romans was written by Paul. But Paul had a scribe who wrote his words as he, himself, spoke them to be recorded! And, joy of all joys, Paul gives Tertius a little “shout-out” in at the end of the book!
Imagine being the amenuensis of a great man like Paul. Being given the important task of writing down his words that will be passed along (and unbeknownst to him at the time, passed down and cherished for thousands of years). Yes, the words are Paul’s, as inspired in his spirit by the Holy Spirit. But historical evidence and several Biblical commentaries shows that he had a scribe here, and his name was Tertius!
His name – Tertius – means third. And Biblical commentators speculate that gives credence to the fact that he must have been a freed slave, quite possibly redeemed (remember that word from our Grace of God section – all debts paid in full and set free?!) by Paul.
Tertius. I’d like to suggest to you that we are all a Tertius of sorts to our amazing God. First, our debts have been paid and we are free – thank you Jesus!
And second, just like Paul allowed Tertius to acknowledge himself, we, too, are given tasks and calls to carry out, encouraged to let our own gift – our own light, if you will – shine – and, as long as we give the glory to the gift giver, He will also give us credit in return – give us a Romans 16:22 moment of our own and a heartfelt, well-deserved “way to go”, too.
I was thinking about this idea of giving credit where credit is due, especially as it relates to the gifts God gives us. The longer I do this job, the more excitedly aware I am that God wired me to do this. He graced me with a gift to teach His word to others through speaking and writing. And the more often I speak and teach, not only here on this blog, but also other places, too, I get a lot of love and accolades.
I won’t lie to you – it feels great to be praised, you know? But the one thing I always try to do when someone tells me I’ve given a good lesson or created a great handout, or explained something they didn’t understand before, I pray that I consistently remember to say that it’s not me – it’s GOD working through me. The glory belongs solely with Him.
This is an important point of clarification, because it’s due to the Giver of the gift (and in my case the spiritual gift is one of teaching) that I’m able to do what I do. In other words, God gifted me with the ability to teach His word, therefore, the glory that I am using it (and hopefully using it well) goes to HIM, not me.
What’s your gift? Are you ever tempted, in the name of humility, to deny any credit you get for using it well? Did you know, that by denying it or shrugging it off, you’re actually “hiding it under a bushel”?! I’m not telling you to go shout it from the mountain tops that you’re a rock star of CPA, the world’s best salesperson, or the coolest mom on the planet (even though I’m totally sure you are!)! But I AM telling you not to belittle it when it’s been acknowledged by someone else.
Why? Because it’s the perfect opportunity to you to practice giving credit where credit is due! When you’re walking in that sweet spot of what God called you to do, you WILL do it well, and people will notice! And that’s the best time for you to share the Giver of your gift to those around you. Accept kudos with grace, all the while giving glory to God for wiring you that way!
No matter WHAT you do, it matters. Be excited that God created you for THIS!
Are you one of our Bible study peeps?! If so, you KNOW this is our very last section of Romans – darn it all! I want you to finish STRONG, sweet things. You can click here for your FINAL week of Seeing the Big Picture homework, AND to an amazing tune by Francesca Battistelli that reminds us no matter what it is we do, we are FAMOUS in our Father’s eyes: “He Knows My Name”. You will LOVE it!!
Have a great week! See you here next week as we wrap up our fall season of Bible study…and maybe even a fun surprise!
Peace, love, and JOY!!!
Up Next Week: The Day I Always Dread