We all love to get recognition, to get credit for our good deeds. Saul was victorious over the years. So was David. Saul acknowledged that people gave him credit. Yet, they only gave Saul credit for a small portion of success while David was given a lot more credit. In 1 Samuel 18:8-9, we read: “Saul was furious and resented this song. ‘They credited tens of thousands to David,’ he complained, ‘but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?’ So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward.”
But only. This is what gets us. This is what upsets our pride. This is what rubs us the wrong way. We get credited for doing something awesome. Then the “but only” comes along. Someone else gets more credit. Someone else gets more attention. This can get under our skin. This can keep us up at night. This can cause us to be ungrateful for the credit we received because our eyes are on the bigger prize.
The “but only” moments can drive us crazy, but they also can make us ungrateful and bitter. We can start to become jealous and dislike those who are being recognized more. We forget our worth comes from God and we try so hard to get the loudest applause.
We live a life like Jesus when we humble ourselves. The attention we receive may be exciting and it may even feel nice. However, we should never live for the applause. Our lives are to be lived for God’s glory. When we get caught up in “but only” situations, we lose out on the opportunities we have to shine for Jesus. Instead of seeing the good works and glorifying the Father, people will look at you and see the green envy train making an unplanned stop on the I’m-going-to-sit-here-and-stew train (Matthew 5:16). Friends, avoid the “but only” situations. Applaud the success of others. Cheer them on. Be grateful for the opportunities God puts in your path. Never forget that God is your biggest cheerleader. His applause is all that matters.