would you rather?
By Guest Writer: Rachael Adams
I could hardly contain my excitement.
My first article for a large online publication had just been released, and I couldn’t wait to see my words in all their pixel glory. With one click of the mouse, my elation quickly turned to disappointment.
My piece was published, but my name was not.
There was no byline noting me as the author. I couldn’t believe I had worked so hard on that piece, yet no one would ever know I had written it. Discouraged, I immediately called my husband to share the news. He already read the piece and saw that the byline was missing, but reacted much differently than I did.
“Your name wasn’t listed, but Jesus’ name was written all throughout it,” he said. “Did you write it for you to be seen or for Him to be seen?”
Ouch. If I’m being honest, my answer is both. I work for God, but more often than I’d like to admit, my actions are driven by the selfish desire to be noticed, applauded, and recognized by other people.
Jesus warned against these fleshly tendencies. He criticized the Pharisees who followed rules to make themselves look good rather than to honor God. They didn’t care about being holy. They only cared about looking holy in order to receive the people's admiration and praise.
When we are tempted by the lure of self-centeredness, we can find refuge in focusing on God's love. He creates motives that are pure, heartfelt, and God-centered instead of motives that are hypocritical and self-centered.
If you want to check your heart’s motives, use this question as a litmus test: Would I still do this if no one ever knew?
Friend, may we lay down our desire to be seen by people and rest in the assurance that God sees us. I pray we value God’s praise more than people’s praise. Because after all, He is the rightful author of our stories and His praise matters most!
When you think about your work, would you rather be holy or look holy?
Rachael Adams is a writer, speaker and host of the Love Offering podcast. Her heart's desire is to encourage women to realize their God given purpose and embolden them to move into the world through compassionate action. Rachael and her husband live in Kentucky with their two children.