I’m not gonna lie, I like a good pat on the back, “Awesome job, Sarah”, or even a simple “Thanks!”. I can serve unseen, un-thanked for awhile, and then I start to get jealous of others’ recognition or success. My sisters used to tease me for being the “suffering servant”, making sure everyone knew that I was dealing with some hardship for the sake of others (and even wanting a pat on the back for that too).
We all want to be needed, wanted, recognized.
I read Colossians 3 in a new way this morning and it has given me a different perspective, one I am still wrestling to wrap my mind around.
Colossians 3:1-4: Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your<sup value="[a]”>life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
Our life is now hidden. This is the opposite of what I want! I want to be recognized for my success. But see, when we follow Jesus it isn’t about us anymore. When people look at us, they should see Jesus because we are hidden in Him. It is about His glory, and we have put aside the earthly measures of success. Paul goes on in the rest of the chapter to give a picture of what it means to be hidden in Christ. The sinful nature is cast aside and all of the practices of the old self must be eliminated, burned, gone. Instead, we should be known for our compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We should look like Jesus! Our reward is not on earth, but rather in heaven when Christ is revealed to the whole world. Every conversation is a chance to extend grace.
I have a long ways to go! But today I am looking up, to the things of Christ and not on earthly things as I seek to hide myself more in Him.
“In the Scriptures, the great miracle of the incarnation slips into the ordinary life of a child; the great miracle of the transfiguration fades into the demon-possessed valley below; the glory of the resurrection descends into a breakfast on the seashore. This is not an anticlimax, but a great revelation of God. We have a tendency to look for wonder in our experience, and we mistake heroic actions for real heroes. It’s one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us. If we are not looking for halos, we at least want something that will make people say, ‘What a wonderful man of prayer he is!’ or ‘What a great woman of devotion she is!’ If you are properly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the loft height where no one would ever notice you personally. All that is noticed is the power of God coming through you all the time.”