Let’s Talk Recognition…. Do You Crave Human Recognition or Recognition from God More?

Let's Talk Recognition... Do You Crave Human Recognition or Recognition from the Father more?

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven

Jesus, Matthew 6:1

What type of recognition do you crave? Recognition from the Father or humans? Would you say it is a mix of the two? Or can you confidently say that you are free from fear of man and the sin of competition, bitterness, envy, jealousy, perfectionism, or other sins that can cause you to crave human acknowledgment?

I ask these deep and layered questions to get you thinking. At first glance, it is easy to say: “I only care about what the Father thinks, not humans.” But, then on a second look, you may find yourself metaphorically dancing in front of humans to impress them or to get them to like you.

Have you ever done this?

I have, and that is why I want to share with you what the Lord told me by providing my latest example of where sin overtook me in a sneaky way.

Now before we dive into this, let me first explain recognition in a psychometric stance.

Someone with high recognition wants to be viewed as a socially desirable person to people. He or she may need the approval of others and is quite concerned about his or her reputation. Such a person’s reputation is a large part of what drives him or her to achieve acknowledgment.

However, a person with low recognition is unconcerned with his or her reputation and does not crave acknowledgment from others. He or she does not usually seek approval and recognition from others.

Where do you think you fall? It may be difficult for you to provide yourself with a clear-cut answer, as other psychometrics can mold this psychometric, but do your best to give yourself a number between 1 and 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.

As for me, I am someone who once had a very high recognition score. Over the years, the Father and I have been working to lower my fleshly need for human recognition, and we have had great success. I have walked out of a handful of bad habits and grown more secure with the Father’s love. Big picture, I care more about what God says than humans do now, but it has taken me some time to walk out my need for human recognition, and I still fail. While I do not stumble like I once did, I still do stumble. However, now my stumbling is a little bit more subtle than it used to be.

One of my favorite things to do at night with the Father is to spend time reflecting on the day with Him. I like to invite Him in, and I ask Him and the Holy Spirit to highlight any worldly behaviorisms I partook in and anything I need to repent for, and where I could do things more like Christ.

I did this a few days ago regarding Rochester. The Father answered my invitation by showing me where I sought after human recognition over His recognition. It surprised me too because it was so subtle. The devil can be so sneaky sometimes.

It was my mom’s and my first Friday in Rochester, MN. I had gone with her to an appointment that would take about an hour and a half. Sometimes I could go back with my mom for the appointments, but this one I could not. After the nurse came and got her, I asked God, “How would you like me to spend my time?” I heard God answer by saying, “Why don’t you go across the street and get yourself a Starbucks Passion Fruit Tea. I know you like those, so go get yourself a treat.” That is what I did.

As I was leaving Starbucks, I heard a megaphone. I decided to follow the sound. Immediately I began thinking to myself, “hmmm…, is there a protest going on? I thought Rochester was a nice town.” (Not to imply non-nice towns have protests, but Rochester is the friendliest & calmest town I have ever been to. Therefore I was surprised when I heard someone on a megaphone).

As I was thinking that and following the noise, I began walking next to two nurses questioning the noise. We started talking, and the next thing I heard was the word “revival.” I knew it was street preaching or a street revival. I had to introduce myself. I got so excited. Before I continue with this story, let me first tell you the assumptions I fell for without asking God what He wanted me to do.

When I get excited, I can be impulsive, can you?

First, I assumed that since God wanted me to get Starbucks, He wanted me to go over and say hi because everything God-related must be from God. Well, we know that not to be true. But it’s an easy ploy to fall for, but we have to remember the Father did not want every church that exists to exist.

Secondly, I got caught up in the excitement of what these people were doing and forgot to ask the Lord what He wanted me to do. I do try to remember to always pray to God before speaking, but I forgot. I try to do my best to let the Father’s light shine through me, but this time I (accidentally) allowed my flesh to take control. Nonetheless, hanging out with these people was awesome. Their faith, boldness, and love for the Lord genuinely exude out of them. It was a huge encouragement to talk with brothers and sisters in Christ-like these. Together we prayed for a nurse and a police officer. We also had a great conversation with one another. I know my faith, boldness, courage, and fearlessness for the Lord grew with this street fellowship.

However, amid this fantastic experience for me, I was falling into my flesh quite a bit. Of course, it took me a few weeks of meditating with the Lord for me to see it, as this is how sly the devil can be. You can automatically agree with his schemes, not even realizing you are doing it.

These individuals were much braver than I was; at least, that is what it looked like. They seem to be more obedient to the Father too. I was amazed and encouraged by their obedience to the Father, and if I am honest, I found myself feeling less than and a bit jealous and envious, which is the fruit of the devil, not the Spirit. The couple I spoke with was from Florida, and they would travel around the U.S.A. and go where the Father told them to go. They didn’t worry about their finances, as they knew where God sends one, He provides too (Isaiah 58:11). I found this to all be so encouraging and faith-building for me. I was so encouraged. I began to buy the lies that I was not good enough. I felt like I needed to prove myself to them and show them what I was doing for God’s kingdom. I began to compare myself and the path God has given me to their course. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I needed to do more. While I can do more for God, the intentions were a bit wrong, if I am honest.

If I reflect with the lens of the Holy Spirit, I see my fleshly actions much clearer. I wanted the glory instead of giving it to the Father. There were numerous times where I was trying to show off my skills, capabilities, talents, and knowledge of the Word. I was falling into spiritual pride, and I wanted them to recognize my abilities. I was trying to get their approval.

Do you see all the self-righteousness I was doing?

I wanted to be the focus instead of letting God be the focus. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Where you were so inspired and encouraged by someone, you began competing with them. Perhaps it was by trying to “top” their story, or maybe you kept bragging about what you were doing as opposed to listening. Whatever it was where you were trying to get favor with them, the humans, or the Father?

Jesus warns us about this in Matthew 6. He begins His sermon by warning against the temptation to parade one’s devoutness by performing deeds to be seen by others. In Matthew 6:2, Jesus continues by saying when people do such a thing, their only reward is the reputation/recognition they gain while on earth.

Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get (Matthew 6:1,2 NLT).

Admittedly, I fell into this. The Holy Spirit showed me that the Father would have rather me listened to them, loved them, & encouraged them. He wanted me to observe them and let them know I was listening. God told me earlier this year that humility and illumination were my words. What I see now is He was using that experience to help grow me in humility and meekness. Instead, I got caught up in the excitement of it all, which, I believe, is what caused me to fall into my flesh. I wanted to share with them about me and what I was doing for the Lord when God only asked me to listen, observe, and love them. Righteously so, as Philippians 2:3,4 tells us not to do what I did!

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (NLT).

Even 1 Peter 2:11 reminds us to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against our souls (NLT).

I am delighted I obeyed the Lord and went and got Starbucks. I am thankful for the experience I had. I am incredibly appreciative of the Holy Spirit taking that opportunity to teach me how to act more like Christ and represent Christ better. Sometimes, the only way we can learn is by messing up and then allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. Remember, the Holy Spirit is the only one who can change you, and when the Spirit convicts you, change will come about if you let it. I am so grateful for this growth!

In closing, where do you fall into selfishness? What creates envy and jealousy inside of you? Where do you crave human recognition over the Father’s? I encourage you today to pray to the Holy Spirit to help you learn these answers about yourself and then ask the Spirit to help change your heart. It is easy to be fooled by this world, but with the guidance and discernment of the Holy Spirit, you can quickly detect the world’s schemes, but you have to listen and pay attention to the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your love. Thank You for sending Your only Son, Jesus, to save me. I know there are times where I crave human recognition overdoing things Your way. Please Forgive me. I ask You to help me turn away from sinful and fleshly desires and only do what You want me to do. Please help me to see when I am participating in my flesh and not in my Spirit. Thank You for growing me, and thank You for using every opportunity to make me more like Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

How You Know You’re Thankful for Christ!

How You Know You're Thankful for Christ!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

— Proverbs 3:7 NIV

Yesterday America celebrated Thanksgiving. Typically, during the festive and traditional dinner, American families go around the table sharing what they are grateful for in their lives. The most common responses are family, parents, friends, clean water, mobility, and other basic needs that are easily taken for granted. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect mindfully on all you have in your life. However, there is one BIGBIG thing some people seem to forget and ignore. It’s as if these individuals don’t even think about their gratitude for it! I will admit, I, too, once fell in this bucket! What am I talking about? 

 

Jesus!

 

In John 4:9, Jesus is asking the Samaritan woman to get Him some water from Jacob’s well. Now, Jews and Samaritans didn’t mingle. The Jews, at this time, were prejudice towards the Samaritans. Therefore, she was stunned that He would ask her for water!

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew [about] God’s gift [of eternal life], and who it is who says, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him [instead], and He would have given you living water (eternal life).”

In other words, if the Samaritan woman knew she was talking to God manifested in the flesh, she would have asked Him for a blessing, and Jesus would have given her living water – eternal life. The woman, however, took everything He said literally. She ultimately failed to recognize the Lord in front of her face and the spiritual components intertwined in all aspects of life. God created both the visible and the invisible (Colossians 1:16).

The water Jesus provides – the living water – quenches your thirst forever.  Science has proven that everyone thinks, wonders, and contemplates the concept of God. Regardless, if you want to admit it or not, everyone is wired to have a relationship with God. The enemy has done a fantastic job confusing people about who God is!

 
As disciples of Christ, we know only Jesus can give the gift that satisfies the soul’s desires. 

 

Sometimes my clients tell me how restless their souls are. They tell me they know something bigger and better is out there for them. They declare they will keep searching for that thing to do. Yet, what I believe they are looking and yearning for is a relationship with Christ. All they need to do is accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The thing they need to do is participate in a relationship with Christ.

These clients are almost always secular beings. Like the Samaritan woman, they only see life in the natural, eliminating the most significant reality that this world is spiritual. They are hoping to fill voids within themselves that only Jesus can satisfy.

They do not realize that whatever they do will only keep them hungry and thirsty when what they want is something that will quench them in all areas of life. They are hungry, wanting to be satisfied at a deep, deep level. They are restless in life, wanting more out of life. They want comfort, security, joy, peace, and unconditional love that lasts. Only Jesus can do this, but we, as His disciples, MUST let everyone know about the hope found in Him. Remember, God uses people to bless and help people.

John 4:13: Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”

Let’s pump the breaks and focus on the first clause, Jesus says in John 4:10: “If you knew about God’s gift…” Do you know about God’s gifts? Has the living water quenched your thirst in life?

If your answer is yes, then it’s time to publicly celebrate your appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness for your Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit! Yes, it might be scary to you, but only because the enemy has sold you a lie that mankind will not like you, reject you, or hurt you, also known as the fear of man. Good thing Jesus reminds us that,No man shall take me out of His hand for I have eternal life (John 10:29).”

The Godhead needs to be the number one thing you are thankful for in your life. If you are genuinely grateful, appreciative, and thankful for God, then you would be sharing Him with everyone! You would be INCREDIBLY hungry to share what God is doing in your life.

Think about it. When you come across a time-saving gadget, don’t you tell your family and friends? When you find a material object that simplifies or brings joy to your life, don’t you tell people about it?

Well, if you are going to tell people about material things, which you know will not sustain the fire on judgment day (1 Corinthians 3:13), then why would you not tell people about what Jesus’ has and is doing in your life (Psalm 1:1-6)?

I don’t know about you, but the Father has done more for me than anything else. I want to tell the world about what He has done for me! He’s so awesome! When you share your God stories, you help encourage and bring people to Christ.

Yes, perhaps it’s too late this year to go around the table and express your gratitude for the Godhead this Thanksgiving. But, it’s never too late to start speaking up about what Jesus has and is doing in your life.

The Gospel tells us we are to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Jesus tells us to go into ALL the world (that means your friends groups, strangers, family, etc.) and preach the Gospel to ALL creation (Mark 16:15). Please notice the word “ALL.” Simply because you feel uncomfortable, or don’t want to, or are unsure how someone might respond doesn’t permit you to not talk about it. Disobedience is a sin! Praise God because once we repent, He forgives us so quickly (1 John 1:9) since we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

What can you start doing? Here are some questions for you to think about, and I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to help you!

  • Who can you start talking to about Jesus and will be open to the message?
  • How can you introduce Jesus to strangers?
  • What God stories can you share with hopeless people?
  • How would you explain God’s love for you?
  • What brought you to Christ? How could that message benefit someone else?

Sometimes we have to learn how to stand on our disciple-legs since it can take time to normalize the discomfort of being bold for Jesus. I encourage you to start with those people in your life who will be more accepting and open to the message than those who confess they don’t believe in God.

What has God done for you that you can share? 


If you aren’t sure, I encourage you to take a few minutes to write down all that God has done in your life. Take a few minutes to reflect and record all that God has done for you. Once you have a solid list, start identifying which people in your life you could share these things with. Additionally, sometimes it can be helpful to have a strategy to talk to strangers about what God has done in your life. Maybe God will place someone in your life who needs guidance understanding the gift of God and the living water.

As disciples of Christ, we are to help disciple one another. We cannot expect a preacher, minister, or teacher to do all the heavy lifting, even though many of us do. We are all to do our part. Isn’t that why we are called the body of Christ? When one thing in your body isn’t working correctly, doesn’t it begin to affect the rest of your body? We must start working together!

Express your gratitude for God this year. Let everyone know how much He has done for you!

Make the decision today to commit to sharing the Gospel with everyone and anyone!


Prayer Starter:
Father, Forgive me if I have failed to showcase my thanksgiving for all you have, are, and will do in my life. I love you so much, Father, and I want to be more like Christ in everything I do. Help me to stay fixed on You and not on the things of this world. Help me express my gratitude for You with everything You do. Please help me share these moments with everyone I come in contact with. Holy Spirit, allow me to remember my God moments to share with those who may need encouragement, hope, or inspiration. Thank you, Father, for sacrificing Your only Son for me. I love you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!