Do you remember the first time you were told “Good job!”? It felt nice, right? It inspired you to do better so that you’ll hear it all the time, may it be from our parents, teachers, or bosses. Whatever it takes, we do our best to get their attention and appreciation.
But what if they don’t? What if no matter how hard you try, they don’t see your efforts? What if what you’re doing is not a measure of “good job” for them? What if the time and money that you’ve sacrificed to get the job done will remain unnoticed? What if they don’t appreciate you?
This happens to all of us. Whether at home, at the office, or at church, the people around us don’t appreciate the things that we do. In fact, they demand for something more. Even though we don’t get enough sleep, almost out of budget, and don’t get overtime pay, they still demand for more. You hear complaints rather than praises. You feel frustrated rather than appreciated.
When it gets to the point of frustration, we need to acknowledge that something is wrong within us. If the value of being appreciated is more important than the task needed to be done, it means that the heart desires to be served rather than to serve. It screams for self-promotion instead of selflessness. It’s a form of idolatry that needs to be fixed.
Three things we need to remember:
I. It’s not about us. It’s about God.
– We need to understand that we do our job not to get appreciated but to please God. Often times, we only think of ourselves, our efforts, and our sacrifices but it was never about us in the first place. Have you ever thought about God’s efforts and sacrifices just to save you? When God created us, He designed us to please Him, not praise each other. Although it’s good to get compliments for encouragement, it shouldn’t be our primary goal. The goal is to glorify God in everything we do whether we get appreciated or not.
II. Not of men. But of God.
– We strive to get appreciation from men. This is where we make a mistake. The only approval we need is from God, not from men. Galatians 1:10 says “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
– It doesn’t matter if others don’t see our hard work, what matters most is that God sees it. We wouldn’t be a servant of Christ if we continue to win the approval of men. The praises of men will just fade but the approval of God will last forever.
III. Labor not in vain.
– 1 Corinthians 15:58 says “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” When people don’t appreciate the things we do, we feel that all of our efforts are in vain. But that is not true. We may not see it now, but there will be fruits of our labor and we will reap our reward in heaven.
God sees all of our hard work and He hears our cries. So, do everything for Him. Please Him in all the things you do. When this is all said and done, He’ll be the one who’s going to give us a pat in the back and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” No human praise will ever top that.