I am just coming out of an exhausting, jam-packed week of Student Summer Camp. If hundreds of middle and high school girls yelling your name and wanting to talk to you does not give you a healthy boost of confidence, then I do not know what will. As a student ministry assistant for a multi-site church, I have spent tireless months of hard work, sweat, and even a few tears to get me to this event. I deserve to get the credit and satisfaction of a job well done, right? My flesh definitely thought so.
I should be in every Instagram post, recap video, and be thanked profusely from the stage, right? Nope. Think again.
Satan has a beautiful way of whispering in our ears that we need to be recognized and praised for our works. If we are not, then why should we even do them in the first place? This is a lie that I have been actively trying to fight for the past two and a half years while being in this ministry position.
There are a few key things that I have had to intentionally set as my mindset while navigating forced humility.
1. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)
Not only do I need to repeat this verse to myself when my hard work’s not being seen, but especially when I am being praised for my hard work. When we can fixate on an eternal mindset, then we can diminish the thoughts of self-praise. The Lord is far more worthy and deserving of our hard work than the people of this earth. After all, He can do more with a little than we can do with a lot.
2. Get down into the details of God’s work in life change through discipleship.
Discipleship can be a very humbling process. I have recently found the importance of both discipling girls that are younger than me as well as being discipled myself. For months I was discipling two middle school girls and, of course, I recognized that my walk with the Lord was far beyond theirs. It was not until I began to be discipled myself that I realized how much of the Bible I did not know and how much growth and knowledge I still needed to obtain. In our walk with Christ there is never any point in which we have “made it.” We will never have all of the knowledge on this side of eternity.
3. Set Your Mind on Eternity
In Matthew 6, the author talks about the rewards of praying in private versus praying in public. When the hypocrites were praying loudly in the synagogues and on the street corners, their reward is given to them right then in full. But when we draw away and pray privately, the Lord says that He will grant us our rewards in Heaven. The same goes for our works on this earth.
If we are just doing works to be seen, recognized, and praised, then we are missing out on the eternal blessings and rewards that the Lord has for us. The Lord is the only one deserving of praise.