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6th May: D G -- Deo Gloria -- to the glory of God.

Whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

I never did like examinations. I always came at the very last moment and rushed away as soon as I could. I thought little of those who claimed that examinations were harder for the examiner than for the students, but I had to become an examiner before I came across the two initials DG at the top of some answer papers.

They puzzled me. After a while it became clear that it was the mark of Catholic students. D G -- Deo Gloria -- to the glory of God. It challenged me. Here was a group of people who were willing to advertise their answer as being to the glory of God. I often wish that I had had the courage and the knowledge to do this as an undergraduate. In order to be able to put D G on a written paper one has to be confident that all the necessary hard work has been done beforehand and then the answer committed in prayer to the glory of God. Not only at times of testing but in all our lives everything we do should be D G. Whether we take a history in outpatients, examine an old lady in the wards, set up an intravenous drip on a new born baby, counsel a disturbed adult, all should be done in a manner that will glorify God.

I like the term St Paul uses of himself: an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor 5:20). It may be difficult to think of ourselves as ambassadors in the middle of a general practice surgery or at 3am doing an appendicectomy, or at 1.45pm still doing morning outpatients, but that is what we are. St Paul had a most unusual assignment; he was ambassador in chains as a prisoner. What an unlikely situation for an appointed ambassador for the most high God! he must have wanted to be free to preach the Gospel there in Rome and other places. But God had put him there, and the letters that he wrote from the Roman gaol have been to the blessing of many and to the turning of the world upside down. God can use us for his glory wherever we are if we are loyal and obedient. His ambassadors are rarely in high places, but often in the undesirable parts of the world, and working at unsociable hours. No wonder a Christian may wonder if he is in the right place doing the right thing! St Paul must have had the same thought many a time. The greatest writer the world has ever seen did his work in bonds serving in a most inappropriate place in an impossible situation, but Deo Gloria.

Lord, help me never to fall into the trap
of thinking that 'the grass is greener'
in the place where you have not put me,
or that I could serve you better
in someone else's circumstances,
or with the gifts and personality of another.
Grant that this day I may bring glory to your name,
by doing my best for your sake, just as I am, and where I am.

Further reading: Mt 5:13-16. 2 Cor 3:1-6.


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