“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
Who gets the glory for your good works? Or mine? Human nature is such that in this, we’re more likely to resemble the Pharisees. What I mean is this: For me, even harder than doing right is doing right for the right reason. We read of King Amaziah in 2 Chronicles 25:2, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.” The most besetting (and egregious) sin of the human heart is pride; and pride thrives on recognition. The problem is so insidious that we can even be proud of being known as never seeking recognition! This is one reason why the doctrine of so-called “sinless perfection” is so ludicrous. Pride will rear its ugly head in the saintliest among us.
Do we have to “go with the flow,” then? allow this innate hunger for appreciation to flourish unchecked? I don’t think so. We may not be able to starve it to death, but we can certainly see that it always suffers from malnutrition, at the least. The first six verses of Matthew provide us with a good rule of thumb. In essence they say, do as much behind the scenes work as you can. The less fanfare, the less credit. Some of the good things we do cannot be hidden, of course, but a great many of them can. This is one of many reasons why personal ministry is important. Not only does it mean so much to the individual we may be helping; but it more nearly exemplifies our Lord when He washed the feet of His disciples.
The next time you find yourself with an uncontrollable need to feel a spiritual pat on the back or hear a hearty round of applause…look higher. God is keeping the score, and He doesn’t miss a thing; and the heavenly grandstands are full of cheering saints, who’ve been where you are (Heb.12:1).
God doesn’t give His glory to another (Isa.42:8); so if you got it, you stole it.