What a person wants says a lot about who that person is. If you don’t know what it is you want, you’ll wander directionless through life hoping you’ll bump into something good. If you’re wandering aimlessly, you probably won’t bump into anything.
Once you can answer the question of what you want, you can begin to define who you are.
For me, I sometimes find myself seeking recognition. I do it without realizing I’m doing it, but when I take a good look at my motivations I realize it’s there. The idea that I do what I do so others will be impressed is horrifying to me. Another word for recognition is fame. If someone asked me if I wanted to be famous I would quickly deny it.
But the truth is, my actions sometimes tell a different story. If we ever do what we do because we’re concerned about what others think, we’re seeking fame. I never want to be that person.
I would rather do things because they are right, not because of what others might think, or recognition I might receive.
In the Bible, Jesus had to face the same temptations. You may recall that Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert fasting, praying and seeking God’s direction before He began His ministry here on Earth. As His time of fasting was coming to an end, the devil showed up and began to tempt Jesus.
But it was when the devil suggested that Jesus throw Himself off the roof of the temple because He would not be hurt; he was tempting Jesus to put on a show. He was tempting Jesus to make himself famous. He was tempting Jesus to draw a crowd.
Jesus would have become famous if he had done that. The people would have followed Him no matter what. But Jesus had a more difficult task. He came to live and die as we do. He came to live life as a regular person, not as a supernatural celebrity.
God calls us to live a different kind of life as well. God uses the trails and the difficult times in our lives to teach us. He uses them to make us better people and to help others going through similar circumstances.
It’s natural for us to want to look good for our superiors or other people we might want to impress. It’s human nature.
But God has a better plan for us than to just let us do what comes naturally. He’s looking for us to rise above ourselves and be better than we would be if we just did what came easily.
When you realize you’re asking yourself, “What will people think?” or “Will this help or hurt my career?,” a better question would be “Is this the best I can do?” or “Is this right?”
Choose the path of integrity over the path of recognition. It’s better to be right than famous.