“I’m never disappointed when I give and receive no thanks for it. I’m disappointed when I needed or expected thanks. Reaction reveals motive.”- Carl Lentz, Hillsong NYC
It’s amusing to me how so many of the biggest influences in my life are people I have never even met. Carl Lentz. Joel Houston. Christine Caine. Judah Smith. Lynette Lewis. Steven Furtick. Rick Warren. Jessica Chastain. Brooke Fraser. Well, Chastain and Lewis are exceptions (my blog, let me showboat a bit). One thing they have in common: they’re fearlessly chasing their God-given destinies and making sure they’re touching people’s lives while they’re at it. That is something I aspire to. I don’t think a higher goal exists.
I came across the quote above almost a year ago to the day. If anything, that should speak volumes about its impact on me. Why is this the case? Why do we expect or need or feel that we deserve thanks and recognition from other people when we give? Whether this pertains to giving material objects, our time, our hearts, or our words, I believe that it all comes down to pride. And in an authentic, loving relationship, pride is the number one cause of strife and disunity. Entitlement is a dangerous road to walk on.
I can’t enumerate how many times it’s pissed me off when I went out of my way to do something nice for someone and I didn’t receive the slightest acknowledgement for it. And then I remember that quote and I catch myself.
Why do I demand thanks or credit? Is that the reason why I chose to do something nice for that person? So that I would get the glory?
And I hate that. That’s not nice at all and it completely defeats the purpose of doing something nice in the first place. I want to be the person that just does nice things for people simply because I want to. Not for any ulterior motives like making myself feel good or so that the other person exactly knows how “awesome” I am. Because then that makes it about me. That’s manipulation. That is a classic example of using other people. And in a world that has reversed the beautiful and life-changing principle of ‘loving people and using things’, I want to do it simply so that they are blessed. So help me, God.