One of the many lessons I have learned in my life is – don’t do things for appreciation. First, because you should be doing it out of the goodness of your heart for Jesus Christ. Second, you’ll end up utterly disappointed at the lack of appreciation that the person actually has with what you did for them.
Us as humans have many weaknesses that we have to constantly fight against in order to become who Christ wants us to be. Wanting admiration or feeling the need to be recognized to feel accomplished is one of them. I am sure that we can all attest to feeling this way and then ending up extremely hurt if our actions are not appreciated. Especially when the actions are extremely charitable for a person who may not have deserved it.
This is exactly what my parents are going through with my brother and sister as well. Time, money and health all spent on making sure that he would be okay. Days were filled with bedside vigils, prayers and time in order that if he should pass away, he wouldn’t do so alone. My father took leave without pay driving 2 ½ hours both ways and spending the night at the hospital. My mother has Parkinson’s and was sleeping on a cot, “showering” in a hospital bathroom, barely eating anything and making some pretty tough decisions. Also, growing up, we were given a good life filled with love, good times and family unity. My parents sacrificed so much for us children, which half of them don’t appreciate.
Many people are faced with this complicated, often times delicate balance. You want to feel appreciated but you don’t want to outright ask for appreciation. In reality, we don’t need that human level appreciation to determine our actions. The action in and of itself is what should provide us with the level of satisfaction that we need. Our sacrifices no matter how big or small are seen and felt by God. He is the one that truly matters in the end, that we do the right thing for Him.
What if someone tries to undermine your act of charity or sacrifice? Ignore them. I know this sounds like a silly way to do this but it is ultimately the best way to go about it. People with the kind of attitude, where there is no appreciation, are allowing themselves to spread evil. God wants us to love each other and to live our lives according to the Gospel. That is why we help others, why we go out of our way to help our neighbor, to speak up when there is an injustice and to be beacons of Jesus’ hope. When others don’t see that and fail to show their appreciation, will have to deal with those consequences, there is nothing we can do to change their view point on the situation. It will only cause us even more heartache and pain. So we can always hold on to the fact that we did what we had to and we did it for Christ. He above all is the most important and He appreciates what you did.
Please mend my torn heart,
That is hurt because of the actions of others.
This life is not an easy one,
But with You we are never alone.
I give all my pains, sorrows and hurt to You,
Please wrap me in Your loving and healing embrace.