Who Gets the Credit?
Tuesday evening I got to watch the movie I Can Only Imagine, the story of Bart Millard’s life. The Erwin brothers, the directors, are alumni of the Word of Life Bible Institute, and they’ve learned how to tell a good story. At breakfast four of my grandkids told me that they liked the film. One of them went to the heart of the plot, “Papa, it made me laugh and it made me cry all the way through.”
We need to cry when a dad in fury over his busted football career at SMU breaks a plate over his young son’s head. And we should rejoice when this father gets right with Jesus and seeks to make things right with his son, now in his twenties. But the final tension in the film is what caught my attention. It came when Bart sends a demo tape of his song “I Can Only Imagine,” written as he worked through the grief of losing his dad, to several artists. Amy Grant gets it, loves it, and decides it’s the perfect close to her comeback concert. Bart gives her the rights to the song, but in the movie on stage at the concert, right after the piano player plays those familiar first notes, Amy Grant has a sudden change of heart.
There’s a part of me that wants to take all the credit. I want to seize the moment for myself, but at these moments, moments like Amy Grant faced in the film, I need to remember Daniel’s example when he went in before King Nebuchadnezzar.
“Right away when Daniel had concluded his prayer, he went to Arioch, the one the king appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, ‘Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me up before the king and I will give him the solution he wants.’ Then Arioch quickly took Daniel up before the king and said to him, ‘I have found a man among the Judean exiles who can make known to the king the solution to the secret he desires.’
So the king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), ‘Are you able to reveal to the king the dream I saw and its interpretation?’ Before the king Daniel said, ‘There’s no wise man, sorcerer, conjurer, or diviner who can make known to the king what he has asked, however, there does exist a God in heaven who reveals secrets, the one who makes known to you, King Nebuchadnezzar, what will be in the end of days. The dream and the visions that passed through your head while you were sleeping are these:’”
It’s comical to see how Arioch tries to capitalize on Daniel’s gift. The only thing he did was to not execute Daniel and his friends. Before Nebuchadnezzar he makes it sound like it’s his hard work in discovering Daniel that leads to this breakthrough. Daniel, on the other hand, takes all the focus off himself and puts it on God.
LORD, help me to resist the tendency I have to want to claim credit and to get wounded when people don’t give me what I think is my proper due. Help me to follow Daniel’s example and point all the honor to you alone. Thanks that Amy Grant knew it was wrong to take someone else’s song that you had given as a gift.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!