No Unsong Heroes

Posted on September 4, 2007. Filed under: devotions, ministry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning I started thinking about an incident that happened to me. I was reading a verse of scripture when this came to mind.

“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”

—Hebrews 6:10


I remember when I implemented a program in a former church years ago to have a variety store for the poor. I went and set up an account with Second Harvest, a food warehouse where you pay pennies on the dollar for items. I solicited the help of my best friend who was a minister in the church as well. We asked the pastor for space in an industrial park the church owned to set up a free store. He said yes.


We stocked it with food, medicine, personal hygiene products, clothes, furniture and toys. My girlfriend and I were the ones who went and picked the items up and unloaded them. Furniture and heavier items we had delivered.


We worked the store 2 days a week. We also traveled 2 hours one way to pick up food for a couple of years before they would send a truck our way. Never asked for gas money, and half the time paid for the food. We did this at least twice a month.


We made these items available to people that had fallen on hard times for free. People that came in for assistance traded time working in the store for items given. It made them feel good to be able to contribute. During this time we had the opportunity to share the Love of the Lord with them.


Many came to the Lord through this outreach, and joined the church as well. After a year the pastor wanted to re-evaluate whether we needed to continue with this project and if it brought “any value” to the ministry. After fighting with him on this issue, at the end of two years we handed it back over to him to do with as he wished.


Someone else joined the church a little later with like vision and went to him and said how the church could get publicity for the store. He went for it. Mind you the church had been getting publicity all along on a local level. He wanted “his” “name” recognized regionally.


When it was all said and done, the pastor credited this person to the media for piloting the program and doing all of the work. My girlfriend and I were never mentioned.


I don’t know if you have ever experienced this before: you do the work and turn in a great performance someone else gets the credit. They may not have done all that much to earn it, they were just there at the right time or simply knew how to “suck up” to the “people that matter.” They get the credit deserved by others who end up forgotten.


As Christians, this leaves us in a tough position. We don’t want to be selfish and egotistically toot our own horn. But it hurts. It’s not fair. It can lead to discouragement, anger, and resentment. I know it did with me for about a year I held on this.


When we find ourselves in this situation, I believe it is helpful to remember two things. First, we don’t work for our employer, teacher, manager, or boss or pastor: we ultimately work for the Lord. (see Ephesians 5:6-8)


If He is pleased, then we should be proud of our work and feel our goal has been accomplished even when we are not pat on the back. Yes, we all need some affirmation for a job well done, but sometimes it doesn’t come until the Father says, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”


Second, God who sees will not forget what we have done. He knows who really did the hard work and who deserves the credit. He will be the one to reward us for doing His work for His Glory even if no one else knows or cares. So if you’ve found yourself in this situation, IN GOD’S FAMILY, THERE ARE NO UNSONG HEROES!



2007. Candace House, All Rights Reserved



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