“Undue Credit,” by Dr. Jane Campbell

We live in a world of unsung heroes.  Every day millions of people, trapped in obscurity, perform heroic deeds, march of off to thankless jobs, and make countless sacrifices for the good of others.  They are faithful spouses, loving parents, teachers, pastors, nurses, social workers, soldiers, counselors, and caregivers.  They labor for some of the most meager salaries – or for nothing at all.  Yet our popular culture ignores them – or vilifies them.  And our news media rarely tells their story.
     No, credit and attention do not go to the deserving, but where does it go?  It goes to NFL and NBA draftees who won’t play ball without a multi-million-dollar contract or to wealthy athletes who refuse to stand for the National Anthem.  All the fame and recognition goes to entertainers who are praised for offending audiences and for blazing new trails in vulgarity and sleaze.
     People of faith have got to realize that they live in an upside-down world, a world that seems to have lost its mind, a world whose sense goodness, talent, and art is as twisted as its sense of right and wrong.  This was demonstrated by two college pranksters at a modern art gallery in Scotland last week.  It seems the two business school students were unimpressed with the art displays and decided to try an experiment.  They went to their local grocer, purchased a pineapple, brought it into the museum, and placed it on a display table – just to see what would happen.
     They returned the next day to find that their “art” had been encased in glass – as if it was a worthy exhibit!  They posted a photo of the enshrined pineapple – both its humble and its later more glorified display – on Facebook.  Naturally, the post received many howls from friends, confirming their suspicions that so much of what receives credit as art is nothing but worthless junk.  And yet, believe it or not, the post also received comments from some modern art enthusiasts who believed the pineapple was a true masterpiece.  Indeed, a pineapple is a work of art, but credit belongs to its Creator, not to the grocer or the farmer.
     You, yes you, happen to be a work of art also.  If you faithfully fulfill your God-given task to the best of your ability, then you are worthy of praise.  If you remain faithful to your spouse and family, if you make sacrifices for the good of others, and if you serve the cause of truth and righteousness – not to impress others, but to please your heavenly Father, who sees everything that is done behind the scenes – then great is your reward in heaven (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-17; 5:10-12).

PRAYER:  Dear Father in heaven, please help me to look beyond the empty rewards, vain accolades, and disappointments of this life and let me focus on pleasing You.  Grant that I will not seek my rewards in this life, but in the life to come – w