I hear a lot of talk about what Christians should do, what they are not doing enough of, and how they should behave. Even non-believers expect “more” from Christians. First of all, let me say, this is not a contest. People of all faiths do good works.
As Christians, we know that it is faith, not good works that offers us salvation. But we also know that we have a spiritual responsibility to help widows, orphans, prisoners, the poor, and the sick (among others).
Here’s the catch though: Christians can be very, very humble! When I first began my walk in Christ, I would thank the pastors and other church staff and would get a lackluster response (or so I felt).
I thought they were kind of blowing me off, but now I realize that they do things for different reasons. They do good things, not because they want a parade, but because it’s right, and they feel called to do it. That means God gets the glory every time.
I too have struggled with getting (and giving) credit. I typically do things for the right reasons, but sometimes I still want the credit. Sometimes I don’t realize it until the credit never comes and then I feel a little empty. Then I know my reasons were wrong from the beginning.
Here is how I figured it out: I went to visit a “family friend.” She is elderly, and lives alone. I was asking her how her daily needs are being met. She told me about a variety of people who come weekly with food, to take her to the doctor, bathe her, clean for her, and do her yard work. A couple of these people are paid by her. Most of them are not. They stop their busy lives, step away from their families, their Facebook and their personal enjoyment to load a push mower onto a trailer and go mow for a near stranger. They are not her sons or daughter, nieces or nephews, they are simply her brothers and sisters in Christ. They don’t do these things for the praise; they do it for Him.
In fact, the “mower” in this situation is the youth pastor at my church. He also voluntarily mentors my oldest son as he has been transitioning into middle school. He also was the person who made it okay for my youngest son to express himself through dance at church when others were a little put off by it. He never mentioned to me that he mowed for this sweet lady, or that his wife has bathed her, or that his small group has shown up to fix up her house several times. By the way, she also mentioned that when he mows for her, he listens to music and sings in her yard. That pleases her too. She gets joy from seeing him work joyfully!
Friends, no one is following us around tallying up all of our good deeds so we can get a “human of the year award.” But it matters in so many ways. I imagine that God is pleased, and I know that I am grateful for each and every person who has poured into my family and expected nothing in return. That is love. God is love. That’s how it’s done. I am learning.