By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Ronald Reagan is attributed to have once quipped, "There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit." Reagan was right. Just imagine what your company, your church, or your community could accomplish if everyone put ego aside and focused on the important tasks at hand.
Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." When we, as Jesus' followers, understand this important truth, it frees us from seeking the praise of other people. After all, we're not really working for them anyway. Just like the bumper sticker says, our boss really is a Jewish Carpenter - no less than the King of the universe!
Working for Jesus also frees us to recognize the work of other people with reckless abandon. There's no need to compete, to put others down, or to steal the contributions of those around us. God watches, God knows the work you've done, and He is the most gracious boss you've ever had!
No matter what our leadership arena may be - whether we lead a business, a platoon, a team, a church, a law firm, or a household - we are serving Jesus Christ. If we seek glory and applause from other people, we will not receive glory and approval from God. Performing to win praise from others is performing for the wrong motives.
Does it bother you when your work is not recognized? Does it annoy you when others get the credit for what you do? Does a lack of recognition and credit make you want to leave your job? Jesus led without any expectation of recognition. If you truly wish to lead by the leadership style of Jesus, then you must check your ego at the door.
Do you work as if for the Lord? What are some ways that you can actively submit your career and your other leadership responsibilities (church, community, family, etc.) to Him?
Prayer: Lord, I praise You for the work You've generously given. I pray that You would bless the work of my hands as I seek to work with excellence. May Your Holy Spirit recall to my mind Colossians 3:23 when I am tempted to give less than my best. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another" (Psalm 75:7).