THANKS BE UNTO GOD
I wonder how many people Paul didn’t acknowledge.
I spent a part of today thanking people for their involvement in our church, but all that did was highlight all the people that I didn’t thank.
So, does that mean I shouldn’t have acknowledged the people that I did? Since I can’t thank everybody, should I thank nobody?
No. I don’t think so.
First, we serve the Lord. Service at church is first a service to the Lord. Sure, we appreciate it when people recognize our hard work, but even if that never happened, we aren’t doing it for them, anyway. We’re doing it for the Lord.
Second, God sees all that we do. This is related to the first, but I’ll expand it by saying that even when people do get acknowledged, it can’t cover everything that they do. Only God sees it all.
Third, some ministries are naturally more visible than others. I don’t often acknowledge people who give, or who show mercy, or who stand for truth, but those gifts are every bit as important as teaching, music, government (leadership), or serving. I wish I knew how to thank everyone equally, but I can’t.
Fourth, I have to trust the Lord. I have legitimate fear that I’ll offend people by not mentioning their incredible sacrifice, but I have to trust that the Lord will reward them according to their work. I am positive that Paul had countless people he could have mentioned in Scripture, but didn’t. God knows the very act of giving someone a cup of water in His name, and He’s keeping much better records than I can keep. I have to trust that.
Fifth, I ask you for grace and help. I ask for grace when I fail, and for you to extend me the grace to believe that I would never want to overlook anyone. I do miss people, often, and I hate that, so I ask for grace and help. I’d like to enlist you to be the encourager for the people that are overlooked. Maybe the answer is, “Pastor, you should…” But then, maybe the answer is you should go encourage people like you want to be encouraged. You should recognize people that you think should be recognized.
I wish I could convey what a wonderful thing it is to be a part of a godly church that is sincerely living out the Word in their everyday lives! I love it. Merry Christmas.