What is your typical reaction when you do something well, or something goes well? Some seek to praise others. Some are genuinely humble, but many people, including myself, struggle with pride. The desire to be noticed when something goes well or to not be noticed when something goes badly. Because I struggle with this I am particularly fond of people that address this issue.
In The Cost of Discipleship Bonhoeffer writes, “To be called to a life of extraordinary quality, to live up to it, and yet to be unconscious of it is indeed a narrow way.” As I read this I instantly returned to it over and over, wrestling with it. Is he actually saying that I should strive to live a completely Christ honoring life and try not to notice or make a big deal about it? Yes and Jesus said something about it to.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” Mt. 6:1
Maybe Bonhoeffer is getting at the point that if Jesus notices it is enough. Who cares if anyone else sees, because their approval does not matter. But it does matter. We live for the approval of others. We crave to hear others say good job. What if we could actually care less what people thought?
May we strive to be noticed less so Christ is noticed more.