In Secret

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I've been realizing lately that I have a very guarded attitude toward others, especially those who are in "higher" positions than I am, whether organizational leadership or people who are just really well-known and widely respected. I've never been the kind of person who will schmooze to get the approval or attention of someone who could advance me to a different level of the social stratosphere.

I have a fear of trying to interact with "the pretty people" as if they're just people, because they're not. At least, they don't want me (or anyone) to believe they are. Perhaps it's working in a support-staff position for the last four years and living in the very political Northern Virginia area that leaves me with a sick feeling in my gut for anyone who tries to kiss up to leadership. I find a cynicism in myself that demands a reaction.

Wayne Jacobsen recently posted a story from a mutual acquaintance about the way her little dog friend views people as people. I was rather bemused when I read the post, because I'd rather meet someone rough around the edges than someone who is a "leader" in any shape or form.

But something else has been simultaneously hitting me, and that is that my attitude in part comes from laying myself out for years and never really being noticed or praised. This attitude has merely worsened because of my husband's dedication and the lack of appreciation or recognition for what he does on the part of most of his superiors. I am finding myself pretty upset as I see far less deserving people gaining praise and privilege from quarters where Pete finds only disapproval.

But the disapproval is unwarranted. (And yes, I'm probably biased, but this *is* my blog!) The reason he has not gained favor with his superiors is his priorities. He has chosen to serve others behind the scenes instead of kissing up. He chooses on a regular basis not to stay late at work and to be there for me, something that is just not expected from someone in his position as a legal assistant. There is so much more that he does than anyone sees, and it absolutely frustrates me that he is incapable of earning any respect in the eyes of most of his superiors.

Last night as we were talking about it yet again, God reminded me that He sees in secret, and He rewards openly. He reminded me again of the "Co-Laborer of the Year" award that Pete received last Christmas--totally out of the blue. He reminded me that He is still in control, and He is still faithful. He is Pete's reward, not all the human praise and privileges he could gain by seeking the approval of others.

I am discovering that I care too much what others think. Sure, it's natural and human, but I know I shouldn't let others set my identity instead of seeking my Abba for His approval. Why do I want the affirmation of people so much more than I want Him? I wonder if, as I learn more of how much He loves me, I will begin to see even those people who are in a position to offer approval as simply people, loved by Him too.


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