“And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever.” – 1 Peter 5:10
In Genesis 29 we find the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah. It’s an interesting story that makes me feel bad for Leah every time I read it. Leah gave so much to her husband – all her love and seven children to name a couple of things, and yet she was always second best. Maybe she was plain-looking or lacked a sense of humor, or any number of things that made her less alluring than her sister. Whatever the reason, Leah was not adored by her husband as her sister Rachel was. It was her lifelong sorrow.
Maybe today you’re going through life feeling underappreciated. It’s true that it’s nice to be noticed for all the things we do for others, but we have to remember that being people after God’s own heart is not about us. It is not about getting recognition for all the things we do. It’s about putting others needs before our own, and loving them more than ourselves.
If we are so consumed with how we feel that all we can think of is why no one ever notices the things we do for them, then we will become hurt, jealous, and resentful. We have to get rid of the “ME ME ME” syndrome that slips into our lives sometimes. We have to stop doing things just to get noticed and do them because that is what God called us to do.
God created us with purpose. He created us to become like Him, to desire Him and do His will for our lives…not to obtain praise from people. He created us to encourage and lift others up when they are down in their valley. He created us to be His hands and feet on earth.
However, we can’t do that if all we think about is how much we need, and how much we think we “deserve”. We must die to ourselves, and live for others. We have to be able to serve others without expecting anything else in return. Until we can do that, we will never be able to honor God with our lives. Regardless of the role He has given us to fulfill.
When we can finally stop feeling sorry for ourselves because we think we need to be acknowledged, when we can simply do the things that we need to do without expecting anything in return, we will truly learn how to be happy in the role that He has given us.
Being noticed for the things we do is just a nice bonus, but should never be expected. If we are always expecting a “thank you” for the things we do for others, we will almost always be disappointed.
Seek to be served, you will be disappointed. Seek to serve, you’ll be surprised. ~Max Lucado
Have you ever felt second best, unimportant, or unappreciated? Are you living in the shadow of someone? Do you spend your days dissatisfied because you have been told that you are not good enough? If so, be encouraged by the example of Leah. Even though her husband never considered her to be the best, even though she lived in someone else’s shadow every day of her life, it was from her line of descendants that Jesus Christ came.
Leah’s worth was not attributed to her looks or to the affections she could win from a man. Her legacy paved a way for us to meet the Savior of the world.
In order to leave an impactful legacy, it is important for each of us to fear the Lord and obey Him. If you’re communing daily with the Lord and allowing Him to guide your daily decisions, you will naturally leave the legacy that God always intended for you. Your legacy is found in your relationship to God.
Each of us must also recognize the needs around us and respond in compassion with action. Commit to doing something to make an impact on the world around you. This year, 30 million people will die without ever having heard the name of Jesus Christ. Some of them will be people that live in the city where you live. Intentionally pray for people and reach out to them. When you see someone that needs something that you are able to provide, reach out and pray that God will give you an opportunity to share the Gospel with them.
So what do you think? Will you leave a lasting impact on this earth after you’ve gone home to Heaven?