“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” ~ Mark Twain
Yesterday, we had our Athletic Banquet at our parish school. Next week, we will have Honors Awards. These things happen all over the country — and world — at this time of year. As a matter of fact, honors and awards are a part of life, seemingly, in every culture and activity. Sports awards, Actor awards, Musician awards, and a host of others abound.
Just to be up front about it, there is nothing wrong with accumulating any of those kinds of honors or awards. The problem does not come in garnering an award, the problem comes when a person puts his or her whole heart and soul into getting an award, perhaps at the cost of another. We have all heard the stories of someone who undercut someone else just so that a top award could be received.
When all is said and done, we should all be seeking one specific “honor”: hearing the Lord say to us, at the end of our lives, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” If we have the honor to hear those words, we will also garner the award of everlasting life in His Kingdom.
Against that honor, all other honors, awards, or recognition pales.
If you know someone who is working too hard for honor and recognition, perhaps at the cost of losing friends or hurting other people along the way, do all that you can to remind that person of the kind of people we are called to be. No one should be in such pursuit of honor that he or she forgets to be kind, caring, merciful, and forgiving. Our focus should be on others, not on our own glory.
Thankfully, we have the best teacher to emulate. Jesus is the Master of kindness, compassion, mercy, and love. If we strive to be more like him, worldly honors will not steer us in the wrong direction. If they come our way, they are a bonus. If they do not come our way, God loves us nonetheless.
FAITH ACTION: In prayer this day, ask the Lord to give you a healthy dose of humility that you do not attempt to pursue honor and recognition for your own glory.