“Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone.” -Matthew 8:3-4
How Jesus Loved People:
Jesus healed the man with leprosy, then he told him in no uncertain terms, “See that you don’t tell anyone.”
How To Love Like Jesus:
Wow, is this the opposite of me or what! My human tendency is to want credit for what I do. One afternoon during a family gathering, Kathy was sharing with the female contingent of the Bennett clan, how I had done something nice for her on a recent Saturday morning:
“He brought me coffee in bed,” she said.
I, sitting nearby with the male contingent of the Bennett clan, happened to overhear. “Boy,” I thought to myself, “I really pulled out all the stops that day. I’m going to receive some major props.” And I couldn’t wait until she continued to share with the women, all the nice things I had done for her.
But she didn’t.
She said not another word about that day. Cutting off one of the women in mid sentence, I turned from the men, and said to the group of women, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. I brought you coffee in bed, aaaaannnd…”
Kathy rolled her eyes. In fact, I didn’t know the human eye could roll that far back into someone’s head. “Oh, I see,” Kathy said, “He wants credit. Okay, so when I came downstairs I saw he also bought me some flowers.”
“Aaaaannnd…” I said again.
“And some candy.” She said.
“Aaaaannnd…” I said again.
“Uh, really? There was more? Oh yea, he bought me a card.” Kathy said.
“Two cards,” I reminded her. “A funny one, and a romantic one. Later I took you out to a nice restaurant.”
Another eye roll.
Trading Recognition For God’s Glory
The point is this, so often I show love to someone, and maybe I even get lucky, and do it the right way for a change, but then I ruin it by seeking recognition for my good deeds.
Jesus didn’t operate that way, in fact he did just the opposite. Read through the gospels and you’ll find so often, Jesus would give strict instructions not to share whatever miraculous healing or work he performed at the time.
And you know what? It’s funny what happens. In the short term, there may or may not be much of a reaction. But in the long term, God is always glorified more by deferring credit and recognition than He is by making a personal grab for glory.
So the next time you show God’s love to someone, try doing it Jesus’ way. Don’t seek recognition, or even request the person keep the matter to himself–so God will be glorified.
That’s how Jesus loved people.
You can too.
[Image via: dichohecho — Creative Commons]
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I was rolling on the ground laughing when I read, “Kathy rolled her eyes. In fact, I didn’t know the human eye could roll that far back into someone’s head.” that’s hilarious!
No worries here Kurt, you’re not alone – I suffer from the same problem 🙂 My tendency is to increase as God increases but really I need to decrease.
I like the way you put it Peter. I’ve always recognized this behavior as wrong, but it wasn’t until I really dug deep into Christ’s life that I realized how God’s glory decreases when a Christian makes a play for their own personal recognition.
Love it Thanks for sharing
Thanks for stopping by Mirv.
Well said, Kurt! And one day a year shall not suffice. We need to do good deeds for one another all year long showing the love of the Father and the love of mankind toward all. I believe this sums it up:
Mat 6:3 But when you do merciful deeds, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does,
Mat 6:4 so that your merciful deeds may be in secret, then your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Mat 5:16 Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
On recognition, I like to remember this “reality check” to keep myself in an attitude of humility for when the flesh is screaming “ain’t I good?”:
Mat 19:17 He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Another great comment Irene. Thank you for sharing.