Why celebrities thank God in award speeches

Awards season is well underway. As stars throughout the film and music industry are recognised by their peers and fans for their contributions, we get a chance to hear them thank those who made their achievements possible. During their acceptance speeches many celebrities tend to thank their parents, their agents and their co-stars but someone else is also thanked first...God.

On Sunday night, the BAFTAs were held in London. If you watched the ceremony, one speech may have caught your attention. That speech was delivered by Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor John Boyega, a Christian and the son of a Pentecostal minister. Bogeya, the recipient of the EE Rising Star award, began his speech with the following: "I want to thank God for this moment". His speech stood out because, although there is a history of celebrities praising God during their award acceptance speeches, in recent years mentions of God have not been that popular.

However, Boyega isn't the only celebrity in recent times who has used a moment in the spotlight to show glory to God. In 2014, when Matthew McConaughey collected his award for Best Actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club he said: "First off, I want to thank God, 'cause that's who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand."

A few years earlier in 2011 at the MTV Video Music Awards, Justin Bieber took to the stage to accept a "Moonman" for Best Male Video and his mention of God and Jesus led to both trending on Twitter. He said: "I just want to say thank you so much, not only to God but to Jesus...Because I wouldn't be here without him. He's really blessed me. He's put me in this position. So I want to say thank you so much."

The topic of gifts is raised throughout the Bible. It says in 1 Peter 4:10-11: "If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." When celebrities thank God publicly for their achievements they are doing just that. Yes, the gifts spoken about in 1 Peter do not refer to acting or musical talent but we can apply the same principle.