1 Samuel 16: 14-23, 1 Samuel 18: 10-11, Matthew 5: 12

Teresa Phillips
Teresa Phillips

'I don't know why I bother sometimes. She never even notices anyway. I've done all this for her and she never says thank you, not once. She's so lazy and I have to do everything! It's not fair!'

How many times have I thought this in the last 3 weeks. I dread to think! I'm sure you know what this feels like! The Bible has a lot to say about having a servant heart but it's a hard act to follow 'cos we're all naturally self-seeking.

First and foremost the Bible tells us to be like Jesus so in all situations the trick is to apply the everlasting truth of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). To be more specific to a situation in the Bible, it helps to look at 1 Samuel 16: 14-23 and 18: 10-11. In this passage, King Saul had an evil spirit troubling him and David faithfully served him by playing the harp to him, in order to ease his troubled spirit. Despite David's faithfulness, Saul later tries to pin him to the wall with a spear (chapter 18)!! Not quite the thanks and recognition he was looking for! But here lies an interesting point; David wasn't looking for thanks or recognition.

In the film America's Sweethearts, Julia Roberts plays a kind, submissive girl called Kiki who serves and pampers to her film star sister (Catherine Zeta Jones) who is extremely self-obsessed. Despite the fact that her sister never considers her needs or wants, and is never grateful, Kiki continues in her role. In the end she gives up. But, for all her hard work over the years, she was the one who ended up with the guy and her sister was exposed for her attitude. Eventually, Kiki got her reward. We, eventually, will get our heavenly reward. For all those times when someone messes up what you've just tidied and leaves you to clean it up again.. for the times when you've done a job that isn't yours to do and no-one's noticed. for the times when you've really gone out of your way to make someone feel special..there will be a reward for you far greater than any other waiting in heaven (Matthew 5: 12).

Thing is, will you and I eventually give in to resentment and react angrily like Kiki did?

Probably!? Like anything else, it requires great effort to meet the challenge God presents us with - to serve without the recognition we would want. If you've got that sussed, what is your attitude like? Do you carry out your task begrudgingly, wishing someone would realise that we are doing everything? What would Jesus' attitude be? But what if someone else was really taking advantage of someone else, over a long period of time? Has this happened to you? What if you are being treated like a doormat? Is that right? Well, of course not. But lets leave it up to God to challenge that person. What helps me to tackle my selfish desire for recognition, is to simply focus my eyes on God. If you don't look for recognition, you won't feel so hurt when you don't get it. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.