I don’t care how self-effacing you are, there is still a welling of pride that comes when others recognize the works of your hands.
We like praise. We love praise. We crave praise. It started as children when even the worse drawing with a blunt crayon was hung on the refrigerator. Proudly beaming for days, we sulked when it finally had to come down.
Something inside of us wants our efforts to be applauded.
“Look at me!”
Although we might coyly wave off words of admiration, we sneak a smile in when we are alone. Our inner human is stroked by the scratch of praise. It feels good to know that our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, that our duty actually isn’t performed in a vacuum.
“He finally noticed!”
It doesn’t have to be a parade. It doesn’t have to be a party. It just has to be a thank you, and satisfaction runs through your cells like bourbon on a cold night, warming the core.
Admittedly, the words of others affirm us. They measure our worth. They justify our value. They reinforce our sense of importance. Without these words, without any external appreciation of our contributions, some of us may wither or worse, finally rebel.
How many wives or husbands give up after years of not being appreciated? Toiling in anonymous labor, they finally run to someone who will take notice.
How many employees sink to the lowest common denominator, just clocking in because no one ever found the time to pass on a little appreciation?
“I keep giving and giving and no one seems to notice.”
But ask yourself this: Just how important is that validation? Is appreciation a prerequisite for giving your all? Or are we called to higher standard, performing to full capacity despite who notices.
Here are some tough questions.
• Could you work an entire career without ever being recognized?
• Could you live with a relationship that is not reciprocal in praise?
• Is it possible to always give and never expect thanks?
“…for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” John 12:43