Do the Right Thing Even If You Don’t Get the Credit
I saw somebody on the I Love Kidmin Facebook Group a week or two back. They didn't talk about this, but the essence of the problem was they didn't feel like they were getting the credit for something that they should be getting credit for. I think this is something we each wrestle with to a degree; this desire to get the credit for things.
However, I was reminded of something on Sunday in Kids' Church. We started a new series on Esther (which I love the story of Esther), and it had been a while since I read and taught it. In this series, we're looking at a different Bible character every Sunday, and this past Sunday was Mordecai. Now do you remember who Mordecai was in the story? (Bible trivia!)
Mordecai was Esther's cousin.
Esther lost her parents at a young age. She's adopted by her cousin, Mordecai. We know what happens to Esther, around the time of the king. (Another Bible trivia, what's the king's name? Starts with an X.)
King Xerxes decides he needs a new queen, and he hosts a beauty pageant, basically, to pick the new queen. Esther, who was a Jew, is chosen to be the queen. She hides the fact that she's a Jew. You know the story. She becomes the new queen.
Her cousin, Mordecai, who's adopted her, has been working in the palace as a guard. One day he overhears two other guards plotting to kill the king. He goes and tells Esther, "Esther, you've got to tell the king that these two guards are plotting to kill him," and Mordecai saved the king's life.
Here's the thing: you would think that Mordecai would get some credit. You would think that he would get a thank you, a pat on the back, a promotion, a bonus, some kind of recognition, but he doesn't get anything. It's written down in the king's journal or diary, that this guard named Mordecai saved his life, but it's not until years later, where if you remember the story, King Xerxes is having a hard time sleeping.
I assume my wife Beth can relate to this. She's up half the night on her phone. Monica, her friend, can also relate to this because we've talked with Monica about this before. So he's up in the middle of the night, and this is before he could get on Instagram.
So the king calls for one of his assistants, and says, "Just read me something. Go back into my journal and read me some stuff that's happened in the past. Maybe it will put me back to sleep." So the guard begins reading and he gets to the part of the story where the guard Mordecai saved his life. The journal reminds the king that Mordecai let him know about these two guards that were plotting an assassination attempt. The king says, "Have we done anything to honor Mordecai," and realizes he totally did not at all honor Mordecai. He ends up putting Mordecai on this horse and parading him through the city. His right hand man, Haman, who we know at the end of the story is going to be hung, ends up leading the parade, saying that this is what happens when the king chooses to honor somebody.
Here's a takeaway point for us: what I want to encourage you all with today, and what I've been wrestling through the last few days and thinking through is, how worried do I get about getting the credit for things? How willing am I to just do the right thing over and over again, to do the right thing in relationships, to do the right thing in ministry, to do the right thing at work? Even if I never get a thanks, even if nobody ever notices, I'm just going to do the right thing.
For Mordecai, I think the right thing for him was that he cared for people. He cared for Esther. He adopts Esther and gives her a bedroom, gives her a place at the table, takes care of her, treats her as if she was his own. He cares for the king and really takes a risk by alerting the king of these plans that he has heard. He cares, and he doesn't get any credit or any honor until years and years later.
So the good news is that God does honor those who do the right thing. That's what I really want to encourage each of you with today. That's the big takeaway; God is faithful.
You can do the right thing in a relationship over and over and over again, even when somebody is not reciprocating that. You can choose to do the right thing at work. You can choose to do the right thing in a million different areas of your life. It may appear as though nobody is noticing it, but there is one person that notices it. It's the Lord, and He honors that.
Now, in Mordecai's case, he was honored years later in a very visible way, but sometimes I don't know if God chooses to honor us that way. But one day, when we get to heaven, He will honor us, if He chooses not to honor us publicly, or you never get your public thanks here on earth.
Your #1 fan,