“Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1
I want God to use me through writing. I do desire that. I also desire that I get discovered by a publisher and write a bunch of best selling books and get lots of attention. I admit it now, because God convicted me. I wanted to be the next Ann Voskamp or Sarah Young. I couldn’t hold a candle to them, not just in the ability to write but in how hard they work at being a writer. How could I go from asking God to use me, to I wanting to make a bunch of money and being famous? Easy, living in the current state of social media: how many likes, views and followers do you have-the more the better and that equals success.
My husband ruined The Oscars for me. I used to love watching them. Now, I watch the highlights the next morning in hiding. (I was happy this year for Leonardo di Caprio though.) Early in our marriage, I was watching the show and my husband asked why I wanted to watch a popularity contest. He said how Hollywood loves to reward themselves and in doing so, make large amounts of undeserved money. Thanks honey for ripping the veil on that one! He is right. I believe we all want appreciation. I do want to be told I am doing a great job. Encouragement and appreciation are necessary. But my goal should be to do things for the glory of God, not mine.
Recently, I started picking up trash in our neighborhood because some people think the ground is their trash can. I also began putting a roll of dog poop bags in certain people’s mailboxes, where I know they do not pick up after their dogs, so they will get the hint. I was complaining about the situation but doing nothing about it. I really do not want to pick up trash, but I was trying to be helpful. A few neighbors saw me doing that and thanked me. I got all full of myself again. A quick conviction came over me. I thought, “great, I am doing it again-wanting to be noticed.” I decided if I can’t stop thinking selfishly about this, I better start praying for the neighborhood, so I don’t need to pick up trash every week.
All of these situations were examples of how being recognized for the wrong reasons will get one no where. We will keep striving for more fame and notoriety. I do hope I can write for a living someday, but until then, I write no matter how small my readership is presently. I will use this opportunity to glorify God and be a light to this world. I will observe and listen to people. I will encourage. I will be real. Most importantly, I will listen to the Lord.
Lesson Learned: If I am thanked for my service, I glorify God and look for my contentment in Him.
“Dear Heavenly Father, please remove the desire to be noticed and applauded. When it comes to serving you, fill me with your love when I am craving appreciation. Let my desire to be to serve you wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN!”