I’ve never been able to gracefully accept praise.
Within the less than year’s time I have spent on WordPress, I have received a few informal awards for my writings. I believe I have responded to only one of several, and it was truly with great reluctance. I appreciate the recognition, but my glory goes to God, and I praise Him for whatever brings another to a place of feeling that need to reward me.
Thank you for taking the time to read my writings, and thank you for that recognition!
When I was a young man, I had a pretty stern father. To this day, from what I understand through his sister, he is still that same poker-faced man. I haven’t talked to my father for, I believe, going on three years. We had to part in order for both of us to carry on a peaceful life. Before that time of parting, my father and I were never able to get along. The lifetime of dysfunctional family issues which were never really mended, as well as dysfunction during the momentary periods that my father and I would try to have a relationship, always left us at each others’ throats. Too much trauma within my family has left us so far away from each other, even though we live only a short distance from one another.
There was a huge lie that separated my mother, father and myself when I was very young. I still don’t know the answer to the finger-pointing between my mother and father. I want to believe both of them, but clearly one is a liar. They both have been known to be dishonest and violent, so unfortunately I tend to avoid them both. I just give it to God with each passing day, and trust in His guidance. I have priority: a wife, three children and myself to take care of. Being part of a dysfunctional family feud is something I will no longer do. It has stripped over thirty some-odd years away from my life, and filled it with pure hell. God, my own family, and remaining in Him and trusting in Him to help me undo those days of torture is where I have to be. I pray nearly everyday for them, and I honestly believe the Lord will provide all of us solace, in His way and in His time. I truly pray the Lord provides a healthier way for both of them.
The rewards were scarce within my early years. I always had a true fear as I was growing up within a broken home, so I suppose I believed that the problems my mother and father had between each other were solely my fault. That’s not rewarding. My parents were fighting about everything right in front of me from the time I was able to walk. I was told things, very adult things, that no child should ever hear, and all of the topics of their arguments centered around me. I just wanted to play. Learn. Explore. Do the kid stuff. I wanted to hear the “good job” when I accomplished something. I wanted to see the true smile light up my parent’s face when I did good. But, they were too busy fighting. I had no brothers or sisters to hang with, so the screaming, cussing, and sometimes physical fighting was instilled in me throughout my childhood as I sat, or hid alone.
Before I go too deep into my childhood with all of the rehashing, I just want to talk about the praise I receive for my good deeds. As I said before, if it wasn’t for the Lord providing me with insight through experiences I never would have anything to write about. I appreciate the kind feedback and the “likes,” but I humbly decide to not glorify myself through talking about my achievements.
My feeling about rewards is because of what I see in His teachings. I suppose I embrace it deeply because of my early years without the rewards. To be lowly is an attribute which is definitely proclaimed through His Word. As we take a look at pride within the fall of man, we see man’s ongoing desire to be his own; without a need for our Creator. If we continuously fall away from the Lord and glorify accomplishments within ourselves without first acknowledging HIS work within us, then a reward is only glorifying the flesh. I am not saying that we should never thank anyone, show our gratitude or exchange pay for labors, but rewards have become somewhat excessive in my opinion. Today’s society has reward for everything it seems. The medals, awards, trophies, promotions and high praise sometimes leads others to believe that they are highly ranked above others. In a worldly sense, we can say that rank is sometimes a good thing. Military rank, for example, can be beneficial. But unfortunately, it can go to the heads of those whom are less than or greater than a certain rank. If only the ways of the Lord were laced within even the ranks of those whom we rely upon for our protection. What a different perspective the world would have. Perhaps world peace would be conceivable and achievable?
Sin is within us all. Some strive to be recognized. Some thrive upon validation. Some try so incredibly hard to be above someone else. Some try to come up with the clever words and ways, awaiting the “attaboy.” Some cannot enjoy a day without one-upping the next. All of the pride that drives this world is something that I’m striving to be less of as I go on this long walk with Christ. I just don’t have much of a need for an award, or a validation. I just have a growing desire to be a simple man: one which gives the glory to Christ in me. “Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world” is written within 1 John 4, and I have an understanding of that within my life.
We need to be loved. We need to know His truths in order to be loved, to be validated, to be recognized, to be rewarded, in the proper way. In HIS way. I pray this morning that we all see ourselves and the world in a more humble manner. That we see the greatest reward: Christ in us, working through us. That we recognize His Commandments, and reward ourselves and others by abiding in them. I pray that see the most important reward: His sacrifice for us, and that we glorify it above ourselves. We would have no achievements without our Creator first granting it.