Who Gets the Credit?




“I bet you think this song is about you.
Don’t you? Don’t you?”
You’re So Vain
by Carly Simon.


AN AUTHOR’S NAME makes it on the bestseller rack. A soldier earns a ribbon for saving lives. Unique politicians revive the economy and find the nation spinning on their fingertips. The quarterback receives a trophy for throwing a pass so many yards. And occasionally, the small guy’s heartrending story gains notice and Hollywood makes him a star—after making a few dramatic alterations.

What is it inside us that cries out :

“Recognize who I am!
“Honor what I am!”

I THINK most of us would admit we have a desire to leave a legacy on earth. Nothing wrong with holding high self expectations. But what’s the motivation?

LIVING on the border of one of the richest cities in the country, I’ve glanced – gagged actually – through our magazines that cater to the local ‘rich and famous’ and sing the praises of the well-to-do. Every page has a smooth way of saying:

“I’ve earned a spot in this publication so let me brag about what I am. People should listen when I speak because I am ___” (fill in the blank)

V i r t u a l  i m m o r t a l i t y


The nightly news celebrates Successful Sam’s success. That same news team then waits eagerly with the same camera to catch Sam’s fall from grace. How else can Reporter Rhonda make a living – and earn a journalist’s award?

THE DRAMA kills me. We cast our vote for human idols yet we enjoy making fun when those idols slip up and their demise is televised.

DOES THIS characterize a dog-eat-dog world? I read somewhere that only humanity destroys its own kind. How disquieting.

I n s a n i t y  a t  i t s  b e s t


A FRIEND back in high school gave me a little life-altering booklet. One of the numerous wise sayings within said:

There is no limit
to the amount of good
you can do
if you don’t care
who gets the credit.

Doing good deeds in secret? Easily preached, tough to practice.

After St. Paul said, “To die is my gain; to live profits God’s kingdom,” his eternal perspective continued in Philippians 2:3-4:

Don’t be selfish; 
don’t try to impress others.
Be humble, thinking of others
as better than yourselves.
Don’t look out only for your own interests,
but take an interest in others, too.

A perfect contradiction to “I deserve recognition because I am___

In verses 6-9, Paul offers an amazing study in character contrast: man vs. Son of Man:

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.

MAN  →  elevates himself to places of high honor, as if he’s god.

Instead, he (Jesus) gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being
When he appeared in human form.

MAN  →  seeks privilege and loves to be served.

He (Jesus) humbled himself
in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death
on a cross.

MAN →  wants his own name on a plaque and a glorious tombstone.

Therefore, God elevated Jesus to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,

And Jesus deserved it!


WHAT’S your legacy? Go live it out, make it happen . . . but let someone else exalt your name.

There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you pay the credit Heavenward.


P.S. There is just one great I AM.


The Way of the Embattled Spirit



…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

. . . For it is God who works in you 

energizing and creating in you the power and desire
both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

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6 Responses to “Who Gets the Credit?”

  1. joyce says:

    This seems to be a battle constant. Sometimes a I can smile at my success and quietly thank Him and other times I find a flag to wave so people will notice my “quiet” contribution.

  2. J.A. Marx says:

    I find the same thing in me, Joyce. Thanks for stopping by. Love and hugs to you and the DH.

  3. Great blog and comment. It’s hard when the world expects you to get up and market yourself as a writer. I find I have to keep Jesus right at the top of anything I do. He is the creator and He creates the stories and marketing too. I always remember my favorite saying by Mother Theresa who says, “We are pencils in the hand of a loving God for a hurting world.” Those aren’t the exact words, but that is her belief and I embrace it. I know I’m here to serve God and I do it with my writing.

  4. J.A.Marx says:

    You are a blessing to the writing world, Paulette. Thanks for stopping by Embattled Spirit.

  5. Jim burton says:

    I found this blog to be so true. I do believe that all acts first start with dojng it because it touches your heart and soul with external credit being icing on the cake. As a leader you lose your team if each accomplishment , each step forward is built on you getting credit without regard for others. When this happens it migrates from selfish to selfish.

  6. J.A.Marx says:

    Great point, Jim. Thanks for visiting!

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