Get Your Act Together
by Alan Allegra

We have a saying that goes, "Give credit to whom credit is due." This means we should praise or acknowledge (or blame) someone for the work he or she has done, and not for someone else's work. Movies have a list of credits at the end so we can see who contributed what to the film. It would be confusing to list the Director as the Writer or the Editor as the Makeup Artist or the Second Unit Technical Director as the Key Grip (whatever that is). Then the workers wouldn't get the recognition they deserve.

Have you ever noticed that, when something pleasant happens, we credit it to Mother Nature or Lady Luck? Yet, when a disaster occurs, we call it an "act of God." In other words, nature smiles benignly upon us, showering us with happy things while, when He gets mad enough or gets up on the wrong side of a cloud, mean ol' God smites us with storms, earthquakes, and hailstones the size of golf balls. At least that's the impression we're given.

The truth is that all good things come from a loving God. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17). God does not play favorites when He acts; He provides for all equally: "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). His goodness is proof that He exists: "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy" (Acts 14:17). It seems God is getting a bad rap.

Good things in our lives come from a loving God, not nature or luck. Not only do acts of God include good things, He expects us to do acts of God as well. We may not be able to control time and space and nature and create colors and rainbows and stars, but we are called to emulate God in other ways: "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:1, 2). We are to walk in love as God has shown us in His son, Jesus. Acts of love are the true acts of God.

We've just emerged from the season for gift giving. A lot of thought went into each gift, reflecting the personality of the giver and the value of the recipient. God's personality and our value to Him were reflected in the gift of His Son Jesus to die for our sins and reconcile us to Him (John 3:16). He also gives us spiritual gifts for empowering our service to Him and others: "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:10).

It's time we give credit to whom credit is due. It's time we show the world how good God is and how He loves people. We can do that by getting our act together and determining to do the acts of God with the gifts He has given us. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

Alan is editor of Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!

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