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20th November: Whose Credit?

Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss. Phil 3:7

Perhaps you are sufficiently recently qualified still to have a sense of achievement and of quite immense medical knowledge! Paul had had much the same feeling about his Jewish upbringing. He had risen to the top of his class. He had done all the right things. Yet when he became a Christian he said he counted all this as loss. It was not that his Jewish standing was not real; it was real and because of it he was able to meet the Jewish leaders on their own ground. But rather that he ceased to place any reliance on it and realised that it had no part to play in his spiritual status.

To take credit to ourselves, especially when others also accord it to us, is a very deeply ingrained tendency in most of us, and doctors are peculiarly susceptible; it is so easy to `do good' in our work. In that sense medicine is an easy calling for a Christian, and it is worth a clear-sighted review from time to time lest we find ourselves beginning to think that we do God service as we minister to the sick.

We have constantly to remind ourselves that such talents and knowledge as we have, have been given to us by God, to be used for his glory and not primarily for our profit -- save that the labourer is worthy of his hire. It would be well to bear this in mind when we become involved in discussions about salary structure and terms and conditions of service.

`What have you that you did not receive'?

1 Cor 4:7

Further reading: Lk 17:7-10. Phil 3:4-11


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