Thursday, April 5, 2012


I stole from the offering plate.

I wish I could say it never happened, or maybe that it only happened once and I learned my lesson.

But I've done it several times.

People don't even know that what they thought they were giving to the Lord, I have taken for myself.

And maybe I'm not the only one. Maybe your hand has been in the offering plate, too.

Oh, I'm not talking about offerings of dollars and cents, but offerings of praise.

You know the drill--Someone pays you a compliment, and instead of acknowledging the Lord and passing it along quickly to Him, you wear it around for awhile. Maybe a little too long.

Now, I want to be clear--I haven't taken these things because I want to be up on some pedestal. I'm not some diva who needs to be celebrated. I've stolen His praise because it's made me feel like I'm simply okay.

I've dressed myself in His praise not for my own elevation--but for my validation.

I've worn the accolades meant for Him because I've thought they would give me worth--and that perhaps I'm not worth much without them. But the garments of His glory don't fit me, and were never meant to. I'm like a child parading around in her mother's clothes, only I'll never grow into them.

And I shouldn't even struggle with this. I was raised in a home full of love. But the world outside that safe home has been cold outside, and I've been wounded. I've believed those who have said I'm not worth much. And so I've dipped my hands into His praises and taken them for my own.

Isaiah 42:8 says "I am the LORD, that is My name! I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols."

And so I'm learning. He's been reminding me that His love for me compelled Him to the cross. That's what defines me. I have worth because He said so. He doesn't want me pursuing the praises of man as my source of validation--He is my validation.

But it's more than that. He wants me to get my hands off His glory for my own good. It's like He's been saying, "Thea, My praise in your hands is like a hot potato. If you pass it along quickly to Me, you'll be kept safe. But if you hold My praise too long, it will burn you."

I would never dream of reaching into the offering plate and church and taking money out. But I've had to learn that grabbing at His glory will undo me.

Psalm 29:1 says "Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name." It's not just what I'm commanded to do, it's what I really want to do.

I'm learning to get my hands out of the offering plate and let His praise be His praise.


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