Offending and being offended are two guarantees in life, am I right? These offenses often come in two surprising areas. 1) What people never say to you. 2) What you hear people say to OTHER people, that you wish they had said TO you.
I've been there. I have had those times where I put in so much work, so much effort, so much time, sweat and tears, only to go completely unnoticed. "Ok," I think to myself, "God doesn't want me to work for acknowledgement and praise, He wants me to work out of love for Him." But then, someone else comes around and does the exact same thing, with maybe even less time, sweat and tears, and receives what to me seems like a standing ovation followed by a parade and fireworks. Ok, fine, maybe not quite to that extent, but you might be catching my drift, no?
This type of discouragement is sometimes referred to as "phantom discouragement." It isn't new. We can even think of an example from the Bible through the life story of Saul and David. Saul already had it all. He was the strongest, most handsome and anointed man in all the land. Yet, here comes David. A small, shepherd boy...whom God anointed as King because Saul failed to do what God had commanded him to do. Some time later, David went on to kill the giant Goliath, and all the women were hootin' and hollerin' in awe of David. Saul HAD it all, yet because of his own choice, he now let the one experience make so much jealousy boil inside him, his plan was now to KILL David. David, the best friend of his son. David, the small, meek shepherd boy.
We do things like this in our own life. Sure, we may not ( and hopefully ever) come to such jealousy that we want to kill another brother or sister. This kind of jealousy is much sneakier. It's a passive sort of jealousy. How many times have we missed compliments and encouragement from those who truly DO love us, because we are waiting for that compliment from that ONE specific person we somehow feel needs to complete us. How many times have we focused on that one bad apple in our three lb bag of eleven other delicious apples? Why are we waiting on that "one" person to make us feel accepted, great, appreciated, known? Why are the people who love us the most, often the ones to get treated the worst?
I don't have the scientific or logical or "Facebook argumentative" answer. I do however have THE answer. Sin. Sin did it. Sin does it. Sin will keep on doing it. The really good news though, is that sin can't keep it's hold on us forever. It was slashed on the cross. Just like that curtain ripped in two, so did our sin from us when Jesus died and rose again for us.
Is there room for improvement here on earth? YESSSSS! There is always room to grow and learn, but it's not for self improvement or self validation. There is room for improvement because we serve such an awesome and amazing God that our gifts are never ending in Him! We don't need one person or a thousand people to tell us how awesome we are or what an amazing job we did! The most amazing job has already been done FOR us! Our stamp of perfection is DONE! Rise each morning and live each day knowing that what you do today is not in vain! The most important person, Your Heavenly Father, is beaming with joy and gratitude.
Make it a GREAT day!!!
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his
life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28