Even When Nobody Notices (Except Jesus)

It’s nice being recognized for your efforts, isn’t it? As a parent I find it particularly gratifying when either one of my kids takes a moment to say “thank-you” for something either I or my wife has done (without being prompted to do so!!!). Getting a pat on the back in some form for a job well done at work can also feel pretty good - I think in part because the vast majority of the the things we do on a day to day basis go by unnoticed and unrecognized.

Do you ever get discouraged by how ordinary the day-to-grind can seem, or feel that no one notices what you do or even really cares? Karen Ehman from Proverbs 31 Ministries understands; in her recent devotional titled “Even When Nobody Notices” she writes:

I’m learning that much of what God calls us to do in day-to-day life isn’t all flashy and post-worthy. Instead, it’s ordinary, intended to be done quietly, with no spotlight drawing attention to it.

What might that look like? Karen gives a number of practical, everyday ideas - packing a lunch for the spouse or child who overslept, cleaning up a common space at work, getting on the floor and playing with your toddler, helping an elderly shopper load their groceries, or sending a gift card to a family in your community who just experienced a loss. There are so many “little” things we can do every day that reflect the image of our Savior and give evidence of our desire to share his love.

It’s always good to check out hearts though and ask why we’re doing something - are we truly doing it for the Lord, or are we doing it so others will see, heap on praise and scratch our “affirmation itch?” Karen reminds us that the Word of God has something to say about this:

Matthew 6:1 gives us a warning in performing such endeavors — righteous deeds that are right in God’s eyes: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward with your Father in heaven.”

If we’re doing something for the praise of men - well then our reward will last exactly as long as their praise. If the motivation of our heart is to do things for the Lord and his glory, then we’re storing up treasure in heaven that will never fade. Karen ends her devotional with this challenge:

As we grow and blossom in our walk with the Lord, let’s be on the lookout for ways to show kind and compassionate service to others, doing so only to glorify God rather than promote ourselves. You may not gather a large audience. But let’s keep serving Jesus by serving others, even when He’s the only one who notices.