Previously published on 10/29/2012
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
These words of wisdom were spoken by Mother Teresa. There is a reason many regard her as a saint; those words are hard to live. But, aren’t they so true?
I’ve found myself struggling with these truths lately. When I’m working hard and the person next to me is being lazy and expecting that I pick up the slack, it’s hard to have a good attitude. When someone I love wounds me deeply through a selfish choice, it’s difficult to forgive. When I do something good, the human part of me wants to be noticed and remembered for it; it’s hard to be anonymous.
But, in the end, it’s not about others at all, is it? It’s between me and the Lord. It reminds me of our team verse from my high school softball team:
“In whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:17
In whatever you do. Too bad the verse didn’t say “in whatever you do…in church”. Or, maybe it would have been better if it had said, “in whatever you do…when it’s easy”. No such luck. The Apostle Paul said, “In whatever you do”, period.
I don’t have to answer for the behaviors or shortcomings of others. I don’t get to claim their rewards in life. But, I am responsible for how I respond, how I behave and how I reflect the glory of the Lord. And, so I will resolve to do better. I will try to fail less this week than last week. And, while the Church may never call me a saint, perhaps I will honor my God well in the eyes of those who see.
What are you doing or maybe even failing to do out of fear of how others perceive you? Maybe this is a good week to take it to the Lord and step out in faith and obedience. “For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”