Do you ever hear that kind of thing? Seriously. Do you? I don’t offer this in any way to sound braggadocious. Truly. I have people tell me things like that. Routinely.
Oh, Michael, you’re such a great husband!
If you only knew how horrible I can be to my bride, or the chippy nature I have when problems compound around me, or how I don’t take some of her concerns seriously when I should. The list goes on.
Oh, Michael, you’re such a great Dad!
Is this a joke? I don’t practice patience in the ways I should. I needle both the kids at times. And I question, on occasion, if I’m getting any facet of parenting correct.
Oh, Michael, you’re such a caring friend!
You have no idea what is running through my mind. If you had the slightest inkling about what I was thinking, often of the same friends that I’m loving, you’d hold me lower than Hester and lather a big red letter “A” on me for all to see in shame and humiliation.
The truth is, not every time but often, when I’m receiving accolades for a behavior, thought, or audible offering, I’m almost upset by it. I’m deserving of no such recognition. No laurels should be conferred.
I’m deserving of crucifixion. He, living perfection, didn’t deserve that – I do. I’m the sinner.
I’m the liar. I’m the cheat. I’m the adulterer.
And despite just how debased and loathsome I really am, He loves me unconditionally. This is why I put on the full armor of God and try to share Him and His Word with others. That DOES NOT make me a good guy. Rather, it proves His capacity for grace. If He can turn me loose on the world while asking me to love Him and others, I will do my best on both accords. But I don’t deserve applause or acclamation for it.
Yes, it is uplifting in some sense to be noticed for such things. While temporary, happiness is natural with behaviors He prefers. But I need to be mindful of the true motivation at play here. Am I doing so for them and the happiness that accompanies a good deed, or is He my motivation? Because human plaudits are fleeting, I must take solace in their comfort, while embracing joy as I serve Him with the resources He’s provided me. …For joy and happiness are mutually exclusive, unlike salt and light.
I pray you find Him if you haven’t yet.