As the cricket season draws to a close, there is much to reflect on and be happy about: the Ashes have been won, Yorkshire are league champions again, and Gloucestershire are the one day tournament champions – smiles all round! And yet we hear news that would make the staunchest member of the MCC jump on his trilby – the French claim they invented the game of cricket not the English! French historians claim that a letter to King Louis XI dating from 1478 may contain the first known reference to cricket – or ‘criquet’ – almost a century before experts believe it arrived in England on a village green in Guildford. The letter, written by a young man called Estiavannet, speaks of a ball game involving a wooden post played in Liettres, Northern France. The French taking the credit for inventing cricket? Surely not!
The idea of taking the credit for things is an interesting thought to consider. With any accomplishment there is often the question, “Who will get the credit?” A quote that has been attributed to a number of people simply says, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” There is nothing wrong with praise being given where it is due. It becomes an expression of thanks and serves to encourage individuals. When we seek the praise or take the credit in order to inflate our self-image that’s a different story. In the book of Jeremiah we read:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me” (9:23&24)
God wanted His people to give glory to Him, to cherish Him and all that He is above anything else. When Jesus was speaking his well known words about prayer and fasting in Matthew 6, he too placed importance of doing things so as to not seek self-glory. Jesus was quite clear in his teaching - God the Father sees and rewards the things that we do that are unseen. He warns that those who use their talents or gifts to covet the praise of men rather than seek God’s glory receive their reward in full here and now. Paul, when writing to the Colossians wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” May God bless us in our work, and let us make sure it’s God who gets the credit for it.