Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. Matthew 6:1-4 NKJV
I can never say enough how I LOVE being a grandmother! I so enjoy seeing my grandchildren learn new things. Often when they have mastered a new feat, they will get my attention and eagerly say, “Watch me, Bebaw!”
Then they will perform their newly learned skill and look at me, waiting for my approval. I will clap and cheer and then reward them with hugs and kisses. They enjoy being told they have done something well. They like the assurance of knowing I have noticed what they can do and praise them for it.
It is nice to receive recognition. There is a time and place when that is appropriate, such as for a job promotion. But when it comes to doing things for the Lord, we need to remember that we do them as an act of worship to God. If we receive the praise of man but not the approval of God, then the things we do are of no real value.
Another thing that my grandchildren have been taught is to clean up their toys. My daughter made it seem fun to them by singing a little song as they put the toys away. Once when they were at my house and a multitude of toys had found their way to the floor, I heard my granddaughter start to sing: “Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up.” She was doing this on her own, without having been told by me to pick up the toys. She didn’t stop and ask me to watch her. She knew what needed to be done and she did it - with a song in her heart.
When we feel God has asked us to do something, or we see a need we can fill, we should do it simply because we know God wants us to, without expecting someone to notice. I was so proud of my granddaughter when she performed her task without needing my attention. She was doing it simply because it was right, not because she wanted my praise. But of course, I did go and thank her for cleaning up. And if we do things for God that we know are right to do, we will receive His blessings, even when no one else notices. What better reward could we receive than that?
Sometimes it is disheartening to spend a lot of time and energy doing things for someone and they don’t seem to notice. It is part of our human nature to desire appreciation. When you find yourself getting discouraged for not receiving even a simple “thank you,” stop and ask yourself what the motive was for performing that task. Was it solely for recognition or were you truly wanting to meet someone’s need? If you were doing it as an act of service or love, God will see your heart and reward you Himself.
We should also try to be more aware of the things we see others doing and let them know their service is appreciated. God does want us to encourage one another. But ultimately, our desire should be to receive the approval of God more than the praise of man.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for me. Help me to do the things You lead me to do with an attitude of praise. Forgive me for the times I get prideful and desire recognition from those around me. Help me live and work in a way that brings glory only to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.