Bible Reflection

recognitionThe joys of recognition was about to be mine. All the important people in the organisation were gathered. My peers were there. Anyone who mattered was there. From the front the big man himself began to explain the reason for the meeting; a large project had just come to a successful conclusion ahead of time and under budget… an amazing success story of which was being held up as a shining light to all to learn from.

The words, “And we owe this amazing work to …”

But the name announced was my senior manager’s name!

What!?

A roar of cheering and clapping… but, but… I was the one who did all the work. Where’s my appreciation? Where’s my recognition!

How would you feel?

The desire to be acknowledged and appreciated by others is basic to our human nature.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.   Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Luke 17:15-18

Even Jesus was troubled when only one of the ten lepers returned to thank him.

While the need for occasional appreciation is not sinful, it can become sinful when we begin seeking recognition. It is important that each of us determine that our service to mankind is guided by a higher, more focused obedience to God.

We see from Scripture that Jesus lived solely for the glory of God. For many of us though, me included, we often seek the glory and praise of man.

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of 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 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.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. …

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,  so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6-18 [emphasis is mine.]

Even though Jesus clearly affirmed the Father, who sees all in secret and will reward us openly, we still remain offended if we do not receive credit for our good deeds. A quest for recognition can become a source of wrong motives and failed endeavours. And if we are not careful, jealousy, pride and selfish ambition may rise up to bite us.

So, let me ask you this:

Could you tell me GOD‘s name?  We probably could recall many compound names we know God by. For example, Jehovah Jireh, “He is my Provider”. But the primary revelation of God’s name is Yahweh. Right?

How about the name of the “Son of God”? Yes, it is Jesus.

Now let me ask you, what is the name of the Holy Spirit?

He is the one who has been actively influencing your life. He is the one who is our advocate, helper, teacher and counselor. He is the one who lives with us and in us.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:16,17

Every good work, every miracle of grace, every harvest, every reconciliation, every revival, every spiritual advancement we see today, worldwide, is done through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Yet no one knows His name!

A search of Scriptures reveals that the Holy Spirit has, throughout all history, from brooding over the creation of the universe to the strengthening of Jesus on the cross, accomplished all the work of the Godhead.

And yet, His name has never been revealed.

The nature of the Holy Spirit is in stark contrast to our human desire to be seen, praised and recognised.

The passion of the Holy Spirit is two-fold: To see Jesus glorified and the Father’s Will accomplished on Earth. He does it in perfect humility and in complete obedience… a God inspired pattern for us all to find spiritual rest and maturity.

As Christians, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We must abandon our quest for recognition. God sees and knows our works. Whether or not a promotion comes from the world, the reward we must seek is that which comes from Heaven:

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Matthew 25:23

I don’t know about you, but in this I find great delight!