Be sure to cite the source. Students, writers, and speakers learn this lesson early on. Claiming someone else’s thoughts or quotations as our own is plagiarism. While the practice may tempt those who’ve stayed up all night struggling to prepare their assignment, indulging in it will more likely lead to punishment than applause. We understand and honor this principle most of the time. But don’t we commit spiritual plagiarism whenever we revel in others’ praise and neglect to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that God is the source of whatever good we do?
In today’s passage, King Darius decides to be honest. After witnessing how the almighty King of Kings saved Daniel in the lion’s den, how God elevated, protected, sustained, and loved Daniel who was in the midst of a foreign land, Darius issues a formal decree for everyone to worship God. In a stunning reversal, this earthly king turns his people’s worship away from himself to the one true God. King Darius knows that he is no match for the sovereign King whose strength is everlasting, who ultimately delivers and rescues us from all harm. He chooses to cite the true Source of power.
Learn how to cite the Source of your life. Begin by naming what God has done for you as you pray, then as you talk with others. Stop taking personal credit for what God’s grace has done for you. We tend to cite our abilities, our sharp reason, or our steadfast common sense when success comes our way. We enjoy trusting in the wealth we accumulate and our capacity to earn. But our Sustainer is God alone, God who existed before all things. In God, all things are held together (Col 1:17). Cite the source, because God deserves it.
Name what God has done for you today.
God, forgive us for intercepting the glory and honor that belongs exclusively to you. Help us give credit to you each day for our lives and blessings. Amen.