If you stopped by because you read my devotion today (1/25/17) over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME! So glad you are here!
I’ve always been a quiet person. I’d rather stay in the background than to be the center of attention.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t like the occasional, “Atta girl,” or “Good job!”
I think maybe everyone on some level likes being recognized for their talent, abilities and strengths. Being praised for something can give us a sense of worthiness, it can make us feel needed, or it lets us know people notice our accomplishments.
But when no one notices our hard work, or even pauses to thank us for what we do, it may sometimes be hard not to become disappointed or feel unappreciated. Especially if we see someone else receiving attention for their efforts.
The prodigal son’s brother felt that way. When the wayward son came home, the father threw a party. The older son became angry. When his father found him, the obedient son listed the things he had done right, as though to say, “But what about me?” The father responded, “’My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.’” Luke 15:31 NIV
The father did know his older son had been a dutiful son. But he couldn’t help but be thankful and rejoice that the younger son, the one he had thought was gone forever, was back home.
We are not told if the older son then joined in with the celebration or not. But we do know he had been hurt over not receiving outwardly the same praise his brother had received. I’ve often wondered if the older son had been content up to that point. Perhaps he had known he had the love of his father and had not needed the outward praise, until he saw his younger brother getting the attention.
But the father had noticed his faithful life. Just as our Heavenly Father notices what we do for Him.
We may not be celebrated by people in this life, but we can be sure that the celebration we have in heaven will be eternal. And like the father told his oldest son, we will always be with our Father and all He has will be ours.
So when we see others receiving praise, we need to ask ourselves this question. Are we working for our Father out of our love and desire to be obedient, or are we working for the praise of men? Are we tempted to ask “But what about me?”
What we need to remember is that God is planning a party for each one of us. And we can be sure it will be a celebration bigger than we can ever imagine.
“Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9 NIV
That’s the party I’m looking forward to!
Thank you for loving me. As I strive to live my life, help me to remember to keep my focus on serving You and not on longing for the recognition of others. Help me to rejoice with those who are being celebrated for coming to You and for serving You. Thank You, Father that You are even now preparing for the celebration that will take place in heaven some day when all Your children are gathered home. How I long for that day when I will be with You forever! Amen.