Recognition and Praise

Would you still do it if no one knew you did it?

“It” in the question above refers to acts of kindness. Because let me tell you, sometimes acts of kindness are easier to do when we know we will be recognized and praised for doing them. I know that I sometimes love to hear words such as “Wow, what you did was amazing!”, “You are so giving!”, “What a blessing you are!”, etc. Don’t you at times love hearing words like that?

But, you know, how do those words typically make you feel? For me, it makes me feel good about myself like I did the right thing. It sometimes leads me into wanting to do even more acts of kindness. You just have to love that praise, right?! Aren’t you like me at times? This is where things can get a little rocky, though.

Where is my heart at? Why am I doing this act of kindness? Is it for praise, recognition, to be boastful? “I did THIS for THAT person, aren’t you PROUD of ME?” In a way, it is a form of selfishness. Once we do an act of kindness for recognition, we turn the situation into a focus onto ourselves. No longer is it about the poor, the needy, the hurting, those struggling. No longer is it about God, even. We become self-centered rather than God-centered. We are making ourselves look good rather than making God look good through us.

Photo by Andrew Thornebrooke on Unsplash

Think about it. What has God done in your life? Not only did He give His one and only Son for you, but He has given you new life. He has given you the breath in your lungs. He has given you mercy, love, grace, another day on this earth. Don’t you want others to know and experience the things you have experienced from God? Let us show others the Good God of ours in our actions, our acts of kindness. Let us become God-centered, not self-centered. Because when we do so, we will be rewarded.

No, I am not talking about material or temporal rewards such as praise, money, the “spotlight.” I am talking about what God so freely and generously gives. I am talking about inheritance. Eternity with our Lord and Savior. Life. Also, I am not saying that our works and actions save us. Rather I am saying that by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, by going to God, committing our lives to Him, He changes us. He generously gives us the inheritance. We become God-centered. Becoming God-centered leads us to commit acts of kindness. But there is always the battle between flesh and spirit.

Let us overcome the flesh. Let us overcome our selfish desires for recognition and praise. Stripping off our self-centeredness and become even more God-centered. Let us become pure in our motives for doing acts of kindness. Next time you are presented with an opportunity to do an act of kindness, do it for the pleasure of doing it as a response to God’s love. Let me ask you once again:

Would you still do it if no one knew you did it?

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 6:3-4

Featured Image by Adam Nemeroff on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Recognition and Praise

  1. My wife and I were in a drive through the other night and the person ahead of us paid for our food. Of course, I thought of booferchick! I agree, it’s sometimes best to let your kind deeds be anonymous. This way the other person doesn’t feel uncomfortable and we don’t get addicted to the praise. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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