“You’ll never amount to anything.” That’s what Mrs. Robinson, my sixth grade math teacher told me. Thankfully, I rejected her hasty assessment of my potential. That “F” stood out on my report card like a rebel flag at a civil rights march back then in the sixties. Math was my worst subject, until I determined to learn it on my own at the library, and learn it I did. But that was not to be the only time I’d hear demeaning and destructive words. I was told, “You are worthless.” And, “You will never succeed at anything.”
When a child hears these types of statements, before long they start believing them. Mark was a camper at a youth facility in Lake Aurora Florida where I served as a counselor and was learning a few skills I’d need later on as a minister. At thirteen he’d given up on himself after being programmed to believe the naysayers. I praise God for giving me the words he needed to hear. He had said, “I just don’t have what it takes.”
It took some time. But after a lot of loving positivity, and having people around who believed in him, Mark grew into a confident and productive man. Breaking out as an artist in screen printing, he now has two thriving businesses and has written several books, one of which hit the top ten list. And that man can weave a sermon together like a beautiful tapestry.
“Never allow someone who has given up on their dreams talk you out of yours.”
It takes a special kind of ignorance to tear a person down with words. When it’s a teacher they could be speaking from frustration, because they were not capable of conveying the information to others. But in all fairness, let’s try to delineate their problem. I’m not one for assigning labels to people, and yet some turn into verbose demolition specialists; I call them psychologically deficient naysayers. Someone has hurt them in a similar way, and so they perpetuate the problem. We’ve all met someone like that at one time or another. Maybe they were a relative, a church leader, or our boss, perhaps. Understand that those pitiful people have a false idea about themselves. Consider their feelings of insignificance—most of them believe themselves to be failures in life. To compensate for their “less-than” estimation, they seek out others to tear down, verbally assassinating people’s sense of self-worth.
But thank God for His words of truth!
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Cor. 9:8
I like the adage that says, “God don’t make junk.” The Lord does not create worthless people; everyone is significant in His plan. Oh yes, some people are more gifted than others and are lifted up into the lime light. There are souls who have made tremendous contributions to the world. This is their time to shine.
But one day there’s going to be a whole lot of unsung heroes—little guys who are going to shine brighter than those who seek glory in this life on planet earth. Yes, the tables will turn. The world’s unknown humble servants will receive greater rewards and higher positions in eternity than the famous and affluent stars of today. Most of our high profile do-gooders receive the bulk of their rewards during this life below. Just think, if a soul seeks accolades from the world, they are considered by God to have already received payment in full for all the good things they have done.
Jesus talked about this several times, such as in Matthew 6:1-6. The first verse reads, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. Matthew 6:1
Another time Jesus said, “Many who are the least now will be the greatest then. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” Matthew 19:30
BUT WAIT, there’s more good news for the seemingly insignificant people of the kingdom of God. You see, God uses you in ways you may never detect until eternity. For all you know you may have saved a stranger’s life simply by smiling at them or treating them with respect. If you’re a Christian there are times of which you are not aware, when God has used you in the fulfillment His plan. And what about all of the people you have prayed for? Done them a good turn? Spoke a bible verse to them?
Our job is to put our heads down into the work, rather than strutting around with chin in air and a swelled up chest demanding recognition. Trust God. If you’re not receiving the recognition you deserve, you are far more blessed than the big heads.
WAIT FOR IT, because there’s even more good news.
God has also promised to give us the desires of our heart when we take delight in the Lord. He promises blessings to us in every way and will grant us favor among the right people. All of this is, of course, contingent upon fulfilling the requirements He sets forth in order to have His favor rest upon us. The bible is clear on these areas: Do whatever the command is and you will receive such and such: current rewards. There are certain things we are not to do, and our obedience brings rewards in this life as well as in eternity. Do not do what we are commanded to do (love your neighbor, for example) and you may have to lose what you already have at present.
Every man’s work will be tried by fire. (See 1st Corinthians 3:11-15)
I happen to love words, syntax and plot twists a lot more than I do crunching numbers, so math was never meant to be my thing. I receive a good deal of pleasure and fulfillment by encouraging others and teaching bible. I love to inspire and to edify. So, here’s a question I hope everyone will consider often, as we live by faith in Jesus.
What significance do the things I accomplish on earth have in eternity?
If it has importance only in this life below, it’s not very important at all. If I am an important person only during my life on earth, I’m of no real significance. But If we are in Christ, and our hearts are set on Him, He will cause us to become fruitful, productive and of everlasting value. You are an important part of God’s eternal plan.
When they say “nay-nay,” just smile, and think of eternity. And then prove them wrong.