Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just Say Thanks (by Mark Lowry)

A few years ago I'd just finished a concert and was standing at the back of the auditorium when a little old lady walked up to me. "That sure was pretty singing," she chirped. I said, "Thank you, ma'am." Suddenly, the woman's beauty-shop-blue hair was wiggling, her head was shaking so hard. "Oh, no, son," she corrected me, "don't thank me. Just say, 'Praise the Lord.' It wasn't you singing; it was God." "Oh, no ma'am, it was me." I said. "God can sing a lot better than that."

When I traveled in college with the evangelistic team, every now and then a weightlifter would travel with us. He was one of these big, brawny, bold characters. He used to tell the audience that he wasn't the one lifting weights, but Jesus in his tennis shoes. Some nights he couldn't get the weights up off the ground, and I'd lean over to our piano player and say, "Isn't that something? Jesus can't lift five hundred pounds!"

Another time, I was standing with a friend of mine at Estes Park, Colorado, during the Christian Artists Association's "Singing in the Rockies." My friend was complimenting a very well-known Christian artist about a song he'd sung that week. This person said, "Oh, it wasn't me; it was the Lord." I thought to myself, "Friend, it wasn't THAT good!"

You see, God, who one morning before breakfast, spoke the Word and previously nonexistent worlds began to spin, CAN lift five hundred pounds off the ground.

The Lord, who invented music, surely can out sing the angels and knows notes Beethoven never heard.

And so, no matter how good we are, we would be absolutely flawless if it were totally God doing it through us. Seems to me, then, it's senseless to say, "It wasn't me, it was God."

God gives talents. But just like the parable of the talents says, what we do with them is up to us. God may have given you a beautiful voice, but if it is going to improve, it's up to you.

And have you ever noticed that most successful people are not always the most talented? Talents aren't worth much unless the owner of them keeps plugging.

And then, when you get those compliments, chuck the false humility and shock that person. When folks tell you they enjoyed your singing or your sermon, your weightlifting ability, or whatever, a simple thank you is what that person deserves.


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