“You didn’t build that business” Barack Obama.
Do you remember when President Obama caused controversy with today’s opening quote? Free enterprise individualists were very offended by it, but he was not totally denigrating their entrepreneurial efforts. Rather, he was saying that we are greatly helped by factors we indeed did not create on our own, like the excellent infrastructure in our country and the supply of competent educated skillful people available for hire.
Today’s scripture shows a deeper meaning than the Obama quote. For here we are warned that when we take credit for what we have made, we are taking credit for what belongs to God.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion (Hosea 14:3b)
I love how today’s verse tells us not only what not to do, but it shows something wonderful we receive as a replacement. As we renounce our idolatrous self-credit and give God the glory instead, we find and enjoy the fullness of his compassion.
Some of us have an overpowering obsession with being a success. Our dads may have driven us hard towards achievement, and we thought that accomplishments would prove our worth. But valuing our achievements so highly makes them like a god — they become a modern-day idol.
Yes, our default mode is to want the credit, saying that our success is due to our own fine outstanding efforts and talents. Yet when we do turn and learn to give God the credit, we really do find that agreeing with “You didn’t build that business” gives us a taste of the lovingkindness of God.