It feels good when other people recognize what we do, but we cannot allow their accolades to establish our worth.
We recently attended a farewell dinner for the members of my husband’s section who are moving soon. As I listened to his coworkers talk about the amazing things the guests of honor accomplished during their time in the unit, I remembered how I had once lived for awards and accolades.
We have a whole room full of framed memorabilia extolling my virtues as a Soldier. If you are associated with the Army, you know what I’m talking about – the famed I Love Me Wall.
Those earthly commendations made me feel worthy.
But they have no lasting worth.
Framed flags and mounted sabers don’t add to my value. My medals don’t make me worth any more to my Master. All our unit coins combined carry no eternal currency – no matter how many General’s stars they bear.
When I left the Army I entered a vocation where awards are few and far between. Aside from Mother’s Day, my failures are frequent and successes scarcely celebrated. People point out burned toast, dust bunnies, spotted glasses, and gross gourmet more often than they notice what’s done well. In fact, the fruits of my labors are rarely evident immediately. Often, no one even notices when I go above and beyond the call of duty. Some of my finer moments won’t be acknowledged this side of heaven.
Praise Based Worth
Working for the praise of man leaves us poor.
We are worth more than any earthly accolades. In fact, the Bible exhorts us to do our good works in secret and cautions us against receiving recognition here instead of in heaven.
Man may overlook us, but God never does.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
So when you do give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others.
Truly, I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:1-4 NIV
Working for honor and glory in this life, disqualifies me from the rewards of the next. A humble heart doesn’t hunt for honor here, but holds fast to heavenly value. We will never be worth more to God than the moment His son died on the cross for us.
Temporary tributes, cursory complements, and passing praise cannot increase our worth.
Count It All As Loss
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in death.”
Philippians 3:8-10 NIV
I count it all as loss and look forward to the day when I’ll lay down my crown and receive my eternal reward.
My worth isn’t about me or my achievements. If it was, how worthless it would be. My worth rests on the works of Christ and the Word of God.
When we realize our works are worthless apart from faith, we will finally begin to understand our eternal value. Works done by faith glorify God, not self. Seeking glory and honor for ourselves steals it from the One who created us to accomplish the good works He prepared for us.
When we stop striving for accolades and start giving God all the glory we become worth more than earthly currency can calculate.
“Not to us, LORD, not to us but to Your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.”
Psalm 115:1 NIV
“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power
and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and
wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all thins. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
Don’t miss the other great posts in this series:
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Thought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul Survival, Monday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday.