Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
In Memory of Veteran's Day, November 11.
"The body [Christ's Church] is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body…. The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I don't need you!' And the head cannot say to the feet, 'I don't need you!' God has combined the members of the body … so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other."1
Some readers will be old enough to remember Richard Daley who was mayor of Chicago for 21 years (1955-1976). Mayor Daley was known as a rather forbidding man to work for. One story goes like this. One of Mayor Daley's speech writers came in and demanded a raise. Mayor Daley responded as could be expected. He said 'I'm not going to give you a raise. You are getting paid more than enough already. It should be enough for you that you are working for a great American hero like myself.' And that was the end of it … or so the mayor thought.
"Two weeks later Mayor Daley was on his way to give a speech to a convention of veterans. The speech was going to receive nationwide attention. Now one other thing Mayor Daley was famous for was not reading his speeches until he got up to deliver them. So there he stood before a vast throng of veterans and nationwide press coverage. He began to describe the plight of the veterans. 'I'm concerned for you. I have a heart for you. I am deeply convinced that this country needs to take care of its veterans. So, today I am proposing a seventeen-point plan that includes the city, state and federal government, to care for the veterans of this country.'
"Now by this time everyone was on the edge of their seat to hear what the proposal was. He turned the page and saw only these words: "You're on your own now, you great American hero!"2
The fact is that there are many people who have contributed to our lives to help make us what we are, and to give us the freedoms we enjoy today—at least for those of us who live in free countries. We need to be grateful for every person who has ever helped us—including every veteran who has put his or her life on the line to defend our freedoms.
Speaking personally, I grew up in Australia during World War II and, had it not been for the U.S. military, Australia—without doubt—would have been totally run over by the Japanese. Our population at the time was only about seven million and much of Australia's military forces were fighting in Europe to help save the U.K. from Hitler's Germany. So I am extremely thankful for every U.S. veteran who gave his or her life to save mine.
May we all give credit where credit is due. And may we never forget how much God has done and continues to do behind the scenes for every one of us—every day.
Suggested prayer, "Dear God, thank you for every person who has contributed to the betterment of my life—including every veteran who has helped to protect my freedom. Thank you, too, for the gift/s you have given to me. Please help me to use them to help make my world a better place in which to live, and always do this for your glory. And, above all, thank you for giving your Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for all my sins so that I can receive your forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 12:12, 21, 24-25 (NIV).
2. Journey Toward God, New Community Small Group Study on Exodus (Zondervan), p.33.