October 16, 2017 by maryruwe
(I was going through previous posts and decided to re-post one this week. Not sure about you but I can always receive a refreshing from reviewing truths of the Word of God.)
Have you ever had a day or a time when you thought no one saw you? When nothing you did seemed to matter or be noticed? Ever feel like the hard work you do is not appreciated? How about that promotion that you worked so hard for that went to someone else? Do you feel your family doesn’t appreciate you? I’m sure you can name some of your own experiences. We’ve all had to deal with disappointments and discouragements. That’s life.
Everyone learns that it isn’t always about what has happened that matters, but how we handle it. The same is true in the Kingdom of God. We may think that the work we do in serving our Lord goes un-noticed, but that just isn’t true. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:1 that there is a great cloud of witnesses encompassed about us. Also our co-workers and neighbors see how we live; as well as our family and friends are watching too. Not to mention that God Almighty sees everything.
When we see ourselves at victims of not being appreciated, we need to remember that 2 Thessalonians 3:13 tells us to “not grow weary in well-doing”. Though it may be true at times that we don’t get the recognition, support, and encouragement we either think we should have or need, one thing is for sure, God sees our heart and work and will reward us in due time. First Corinthians 3:8 tells us that everyone will receive his own reward according to his own labor. So even if no one in this world gives us the recognition or makes us feel important, we still need to be obedient to what God has asked us to do for it is He that will reward us. In real life recognition and promotion comes after the work. The same is true spiritually; the recognition or promotion comes after obedience.
So what do we do when we feel that we are taken for granted or that we are not getting the recognition we think we deserve? Well, for one thing, we need to ask ourselves a couple of questions: (1) why are we searching for so much recognition, and (2) what are our motives for doing what we are doing? If we are constantly looking to others for compliments and encouragement, our self-worth is based in the wrong persons. If we are always trying to show how important we are and gain recognition then we have too much focus in boasting on ourselves. Proverbs 27:2 teaches us to let others praise us and not our own mouth. As Christians our self-worth is based in Jesus and His Righteousness not our own goodness. (Isaiah 64:6)
Ephesians 6:5-7 teaches us that our work and our goal should be to please God, not men; that everything we do is to be done as unto the Lord. This means that our work should be done with the same diligence and competence whether seen or not seen by others. All our work should be done to bring glory to God. It is all about obedience to the Word of God, living (and working) a life that is pleasing to God.
Obedience is really all about being submissive to another, being submissive to the one in authority; whether it is a spouse, a parent, a teacher, an employer, or God. Most of us don’t like the words obedience and submit, but we all need them in our lives. It is impossible to please God without faith, and it is impossible to be in faith or to be faithful without being submissive. Someone has to rule. Someone has to be in charge. The question is who is in charge of your life? Whose rules and regulations and principles do you (and I) submit to? I think it does us good to evaluate ourselves every once in awhile to see where we are on the “measuring stick of submission and obedience”; the two go hand and hand.
Now let’s put things into perspective. We all like the compliments and recognition, right? Right! Do you know why? It is because we are made in the image of God, and He likes to be recognized – for who He is and what He has done. He likes to be appreciated. We take after Him! So it is not totally wrong to want or need the recognition, it just needs to be kept in balance to first bring glory to God. As a Christian we are not our own, we belong to Jesus and we are to bring glory to Him (First Corinthians 6:19-20). So don’t get under condemnation if you are looking for “thanks and appreciation” from others, just know that it shouldn’t determine your walk in Christ, and it should not over-shadow the glory you bring to Christ. It’s all about His Word in our lives. It’s all about obedience to Him.