A while back, I was sitting in one of our local fast food places. It is pretty well-known. You might have seen its “golden arches” before. This place always seems to be a hub of activity especially for little kids and the “old man coffee club”. In recent days it has also become a place for businesses to conduct meetings and interviews. On one particular day, I overheard a conversation between two men.
The basis of their conversation was that one man was trying to get on the good side of his new boss. The employee detailed how his mind worked, his work ethic, why he says what he says, and how much he loved his job. However his final comment really captured my attention. The employee said he needed to hear that he was doing a good job. He even suggested specific ways that the new boss could do this. I initially concluded that the employee was quite needy, but after some thought I realized that this employee was simply expressing something every person desires to hear: that he or she is doing a good job. Affirmation of the work they are doing.
Everyone needs affirmation at some time or another. It can come from a spouse, a teacher, a student, a boss, a coach, or a complete stranger. The lack of affirmation can cause us pain or frustration. We may not voice our displeasure, but it manifests in other ways such as the way we treat the people around us. However, when we receive affirmation it can be motivating, encouraging, and uplifting. It might even make us work harder or give more.
This reminds me of Jesus before He began His earthly ministry. In Matthew chapter 3, John the Baptist was preaching out in the wilderness and baptizing people in the Jordan River when Jesus came to be baptized. After Jesus came up out of the water, verse 17 says, “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” God is acknowledging His Son. Jesus had not performed a miracle yet or even preached one sermon and yet God was “pleased with Him”. So why was God pleased with Him? Jesus had been obedient. Jesus had humbled himself. In this world we all crave affirmation, and sometimes go to great lengths to obtain it. Whenever we crave affirmation let us look to our heavenly Father, who does not need performances or promotions from us to please Him. He loves us regardless of our earthly accomplishments and desires things like obedience, faithfulness, and humility. And when we do those later things, God will most certainly look at us and say “this is my child, in whom I am well pleased. Well done my good and faithful servant.” Anyway, I was just thinking…
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