"Draw near to God - Put your trust in Him - Declare His works" (Psalm 73:28)
May 28, 2018
I just had a pleasant experience and I sense I am supposed to share it.
While some do, most of the people who minister like we minister do not do so for personal gain or recognition.
We are simply content to serve the Lord in this way.
So, we don’t spend our lives hungrily shaking the bushes hoping some compliments will fall out.
We are content.
Sometimes, though, someone will approach some of us and tell us nice things about the effect we may have had in our lives.
This is my topic here: recognition.
Today a young man I met years ago when he was in his teens approached me after I worked out. He asked if I was, indeed, Mike McInerney. I said I was and he asked if I remembered him.
Well, I see him on FaceBook a lot and enjoy the things he posts about his faith and his beautiful family. So, I did recognize his face but he was asking if I remembered ministering to him in my counseling office all those years ago.
I had to say I did not. I truly don’t remember people in terms of them being counselees of mine and I CERTAINLY don’t remember people in terms of what they may have done wrong or what bad things were done to them. I want to be like the LORD in this way:
“No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.’” (Jeremiah 31:34)
That term “remember no more” means that that God will not see us solely in terms of our sin.
I find that to be a delicious concept.
Anyway, I did not remember this young man as a client so he reminded me and told me how his life had gone since he was in my office.
Some of it was hard. He had gone through a rough patch.
But, then he came back to the Lord and has been serving Him ever since. He and his wife have a godly family now.
This was thrilling to hear because I was happy for him and his family.
Then he looked me in the eyes and said, “I want to thank you for the seeds that I know you planted in me. I know that even though I wandered from the Lord those seeds are a part of where I am now with God.” Recognition is a good thing.
Now, I’m not talking about me being recognized for having done something. Sure, that felt good to hear – but those sorts of feelings simply evaporate quickly.
People who hustle others to constantly recognize them aren’t content in the Lord and NEED people to stroke their egos. I think that’s a trap that leads to pride.
I, rather, think that recognition of this kind if a good thing because it benefits the one acknowledging how we have blessed them.
This young man can clearly see the things Jesus put in his path to lead him to where he is now with the Lord.
By recognizing what God did in his life through our ministry he is in actuality honoring God for working through us.
I think that is a good thing.
There are a few things I would like us all to take away from this short article:
Ask the Lord to show you how He has utilized others to bless you in your life.
Be bold and. If possible, tell them. It’s encouraging for them to hear it but it really benefits you more.
Thank the Lord for utilizing these people in your life.
Be aware that you are a part of the spiritual lives of others. NEVER discount the effect God can have through you just because time has passed or that it seems that what you do isn’t that important. Don’t use the world’s measuring stick to evaluate success in God’s Kingdom. Simply seek His direction and DO THAT.
Be available to serve others…with no string attached.
Thank the Lord when you realize that He HAS utilized you.
There is one other thing I would like to mention here.
Our ministry is a true “faith-only ministry.” This means that we rarely ask for financial help and that everything we do is done for no financial charge.
Some people can donate. Most either cannot or don’t care to donate.
Most of our ministry income is from individuals and families that we have helped in the past. One little country church has consistently supported us for years with other congregations giving here and there. We are SO grateful for any help we have gotten.
I mention this only because I wanted those people who DID give to our little ministry 15 or 20 years ago to know that your giving made sure that we were available to help THAT young man when he needed us.
I also wanted those of you who DO give to our work here and now to know that your giving is making sure seeds are being spread into the lives of those who come to us now.
Whatever part of my legacy as a child of God has come through serving that young man…and many others before and after him….is also part of YOUR spiritual legacy.
I RECOGNIZE you for serving God’s children in this way.
Thank you for supporting us with enthusiasm, finances, service and your prayers.
And a special “Thank you” to that young man for honoring the Lord by recognizing the small part I and our ministry has played in his eternal life.