The thing about doing something good

i have a confession: When i do something nice, or do something right, or do something good- i want to be recognized for it. i want to be noticed.

Certainly, i want someone to say thank you. i feel taken for granted for if i don’t hear it. But, it’s more than that, people do say thanks, that is not the issue. The thing is: i want to be applauded. i find i want people to make an announcement to everyone else- so everyone else knows what a good person i am.

Maybe i want that, so that when i do make a mistake, i’ll be given some grace. Or b/c mistakes seem to get more notice. Or maybe i just want people to like me. All people, even those people i barely know or don’t know at all. And girls, i want girls to like me. All girls. And i want guys to respect me- but whatever.

i live for accolades. i want to be impressive. i want to feel good about myself. i don’t want to make much of myself, but feel like someone ought to!
Oh, wicked person that i am!

And yet, this other tension doesn’t want to be noticed at all. i want to do good for the glory of God. And i do things for the glory of God, and then something in me says “i hope they’ll tell people what i did for them.”  or “i hope they will appreciate me for doing this”

but is that the point? Do i do nice/good things for people for my sake or theirs? Why can’t i simply encourage someone so they will be encouraged? Why can’t i simply serve?

Really, i want to get to the point where the good things i do are expected from me. It’s not a surprise, it’s not pointed out- b/c i’m always doing it. It’s me. Christ-like character. Yet, i hate it when it’s not noticed.

What’s even harder is the things that i do w/o people knowing. The things i do when they’re gone. OR the things i do for people’s benefit that is misunderstood- like walking roadside.

And then as i thought about this- again- the Lord hit me. This is His life.

from my journal

…”Lord, i really would like to do things to simply encouage. That should be the reward. Is my goal their encouragement or their compliment to me? Yeah, i’m pathetic.

As i write this You have reminded me – this is You.
You give so much to us- and so much we take for granted, so little we give thanks.
And after all the good things that You do for us, we call You evil, we question Your goodness, and call You ruthless.
We don’t give thanks to You. We say the opposite of what is true of You. We don’t see all that You do. And when You act for our good, we can even complain sometimes.”

This is my struggle. Oh, to get to a place where i can give myself to others. That i would not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. And i would serve others because i am serving You. And look to You for reward and not others. And that i’ll keep on doing good, keep on following You, keep on serving others and loving others, regardless of what it will get me here.

Here are the problems that ensue
1. i recognize my attitude and then i don’t write the encouraging note- then no one wins
2. b/c i’m self-centered my action may not wind up as encouraging as it should or could
3. if i hold onto my demand to be recognized i become bitter towards a person
4. or i become depressed
5. or i don’t continue doing the good thing

i need to do the good thing

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