"I'm Pulling the Paper!" (1 Corinthians 15:58)

When participating in a group activity, the ideal scenario has each member enthusiastically and creatively participating; the sum is definitely greater than the parts. Occasionally, there is an unequal distribution of work and some members cannot or will not participate. The leader of the group or company must step in to ensure the project is completed and the workload is equitably distributed.


Many years ago, I supervised two of my residents writing a research paper. The senior resident was very smart but lazy. He manipulated and coerced younger residents and medical students into doing all the work for him, but taking the credit for himself. I saw what was happening and intervened. I phoned the younger resident who was being unfairly taken advantage and informed him, “I’m pulling the paper!”


He was shocked and dismayed. “Why? It’s a great paper!”


“It IS a great paper,” I exclaimed. “And that’s why I want you to get credit for the work you are doing. I see what is going on and have spoken to other junior residents who have been used by this guy. He does not deserve to be the lead author. He finishes his residency in a few months and once he is gone, we will revise and complete the paper and you will be the lead author. His name will not appear on the final publication.”


My resident was grateful but I was the one who was thankful. I was in a position to recognize the work he did and rightfully reward him for his efforts that were not being acknowledged.


Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)


The incident reminded me how God oversees all of my life and activities. At times, I feel like the younger resident, used by others or placed in situations when I feel that I have been unjustly taken advantage and my true contributions are not recognized. But my insecurity betrays my spiritual immaturity and lack of trusting faith in God who sees and knows everything that I do. I should cease striving to impress man and be focused upon pleasing God. And when I do, God will pull the paper of falsehood and make sure that my efforts are justly rewarded.





Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.