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Feeling Unappreciated?

     There are times in your life when you feel you can move mountains!  And then there are times when you feel you've been caught by the landslide from that mountain.  The most important thing to remember about both times is this . . . Learn to appreciate the view from where you are.

     Paul says in Philippians 4:12-13 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (NIV)

     I like to say it something like this.  "I know what it is to feel appreciated, and I know what it is to feel UNappreciated.  I have learned the secret of being content even when the only appreciation I may receive some days is when I accidentally bump into the Elmo potty that yells out, 'Congratulations!'  I can receive my feeling of value from God, the King of the Universe, who notices me and my efforts."  

     Friends, I have stumbled onto such a nugget of truth for my life, I feel like I could yell it from my rooftop!  In everything we do, day in and day out - whether in the home, out of the home, in the church, in our relationships - we gain our value when we're doing it for God!!!  

     We should do what we do not  to be appreciated by others, but to bring glory to the One who does notice.  When we scrub the bathroom, we scrub it for Him - after all, our house truly is His home anyway.  When we take care of our children we do it for Him.  They are His children--He's merely loaning them to us.  When we share friendship and love with our husbands, we do that to honor and bless Him.  When we serve our friends or family, our church or our community, we serve because He showed us how to serve first.  He notices.  He sees.  He smiles at our efforts, but more than that He delights in our heart attitudes as we give it all to Him.

     This realization has changed my entire attitude from cleaning up the unwanted Cheerios to staying up late and helping my son with his "forgotten" project.  When I do it all unto God, it doesn't matter how my family reacts (though my husband and I do try to model and teach how to be appreciative).  The gift in itself is that God notices, God cares and He thinks we're doing a terrific job!

     Another lesson I’ve learned is this: If I’m not serving in an area with joy, perhaps God never intended me to be serving in that way.   Make sure that what you're putting your hands to is, in fact, directed by the Lord.  In other words, not every "good" thing is necessarily a "God" thing.  He may not have called you to do something that is a good thing.  He may have that task or position for someone else.  

     Look over your schedule and see if there's anything that is really stressing you out.  Ask a trusted Christian family member or friend if they see anything in your life that may need to be adjusted.  Then, of course, always go to the Scriptures to seek out what God has called you to do and be.  It may be time to shed some unwanted or unnecessary responsibilities and/or activities.

     No matter how you approach this evaluation period, remember to pray and ask for God's wisdom and truth to be revealed through this process.  Oh yes, and one last thing, when Paul says in Philippians 3:14 " . . . Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead," (emphasis added), he was not referring to leaving any “unappreciative family members” behind at the store.  I already looked into it (grins).

Copyright © 2008-2015 Cindy Aitken

Reader Comments...
2010-09-15 14:21:49
"Thank you for such great article. Good to know I'm not the only one that feels this way sometimes. As christian women this is a great reminder!! Many times we have high expectations of our husbands, children, friends. God also reminds me of Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. "
        - Sally

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