Who is there that the king would rather honor than me? (Est. 6:6)

YOU’VE WORKED HARD, putting in long hours and doing jobs no one else wanted. You have a good reputation within the company. But when the time comes for that big promotion, you’re passed by for someone younger and less experienced. These seemingly unjust moments sting. We expect recognition, but are instead met with silence. Someone else gets the spotlight.

In this way, we can sympathize with Haman. For years, he’d been the king’s right hand, so when King Xerxes started making plans to honor a man, Haman assumed he was the most likely candidate. But instead, he ended up parading Mordecai through the streets. Eventually, Haman’s self-seeking ways became his undoing.

When we feel like we don’t get what we deserve, we must remember that God’s honor system doesn’t work like man’s. Jesus spoke about who will enter God’s kingdom and receive his spiritual blessings—not the “most worthy,” but the meek, mournful, and persecuted (see Matt. 5).

The moment we seek honor for ourselves, we leave no room for God’s redemptive work in and through us, for his “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). We are the creation, handcrafted to bring glory to our Creator—not the other way around. Instead of seeking man’s praise, may we ask God to help us trust and honor him, even if we get bumped to the back of the line.

Ask God for contentment in all circumstances that motivate you.

Sarah E. Westfall resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with husband Ben and their four boys. Her elusive free time is spent reading, home remodeling, and writing.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.