One day the great Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo happened to overhear a group of people admiring his Pietà, a statue of Christ on His mother’s knees after His death on the cross. One man attributed the work to another sculptor, much to the chagrin of Michelangelo, who took particular pride in the Pietà. Returning to the sculpture after dark that evening, Michelangelo carved his name on it so that no similar mistake would occur in the future.
Sometimes it’s hard not to want the recognition and admiration of those around us. Whether our gift is preaching or teaching, writing or singing, evangelism or leading, we must keep a Godly perspective and motivation in everything we do. During His earthly ministry, Jesus certainly knew how to keep himself from becoming entangled in the praises of men; He gave all the credit to His Father, for He knew His reward was waiting on the other side of the cross.
If we fall into the trap of working or performing for the rewards of men, we are bound to miss out on our rewards in heaven. Is it worth losing eternal praise from God himself to have but a moment of earthly glory? (Turning Point Daily Devotional, 6-25-07)