Give Credit Where Credit is Due

It may sound odd to consider this a spiritual practices tip but there is much good that can be done when we acknowledge the good deeds of others (and much bad if we fail to do so).

This concept of the recognition of the good deeds of another is introduced in the story of Joseph. Joseph, unjustly imprisoned in Egypt, provides the services of dream interpretation for Pharaoh’s former baker and cupbearer (see Genesis Chapter 40). He tells the cupbearer he will be spared by the king and the baker he will be executed, and Joseph’s prophecy is fulfilled in due course. However, when the cupbearer is restored to his position he fails to mention the issue of Joseph’s imprisonment to Pharaoh, forgetting Joseph’s help and assurance. It is not until two years later that the cupbearer remembers to tell Pharaoh, who had had a strange dream, that there was a man who could interpret dreams that could assist him (Genesis 41:9-14). The cupbearer, upon remembering Joseph, states ” ‘I remember my offenses today.’ “ (Genesis 41:9 English Standard Version). So it is not just poor form but actually sinful to fail to acknowledge the good others have done for us and to “return the favor” if we are in a position to do so. Proverbs affirms this principle, stating “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” (Proverbs 3:27 ESV).

So we should ask ourselves, are there those perhaps we have failed to help who have helped us in the past? I pray the Lord brings to mind to us today a person from the past that we might help now in the present. Who knows, we may even free such a person from a prison that they are currently languishing in, be it literal or figurative.

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