It's natural to desire this. And often it's something of a necessity, as when openings for promotion on the job come along and good past performance is a key factor in the boss's selections. But what of those times or circumstances where credit for good work is withheld, either because the individual's contribution is overlooked or because someone else gets the credit?
I recall a time when I was working with others on an important project. A lot of time and money had been expended for it by the organization. An idea of mine seemed good, so I shared it in writing with a supervisor. Apparently it was considered worthwhile, for in a meeting (the supervisor wasn't present) a third party presented the idea in my very words, as though it had been his own.
I didn't feel stirred up about this. My understanding of Christian Science came to the rescue. These words from a hymn filled my thought: ''All good, where'er it may be found,Its source doth find in Thee.''n1 I reasoned that since God is One and He is good, then all good is one - it comes from the same source. In expressing this good by sharing the idea that had come to me, I couldn't be deprived of my individual, indispensable role as God's representative, any more than God Himself could be denied as the source of all good.
n1 Christian Science Hymnal, No. 224.
I remembered the Bible account where a young man addressed Jesus as ''good Master,'' and Jesus replied: ''Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.''n2 The Master's understanding of God as the one source of all real good didn't minimize his work but brought it to glory.
n2 Mark 10:17, 18
I thanked God for the idea I had shared, thanked Him that it was proving helpful in the whole process. The project was carried forward successfully, and the opportunity was given me to contribute in a number of ways that were sincerely appreciated by my colleagues, including the person who had probably unthinkingly taken credit for the earlier idea. I was then assigned even more important work that provided splendid experience in a new field. I understood more clearly than ever that recognition shown by the personal ''slap on the back'' can't compare with the satisfaction of knowing that the expression of God-given intelligence and love brings its own reward. It blesses us and those who share in the improved conditions that result. But more important, it strengthens our understanding of God and of who we really are as His unlimited, indispensable spiritual offspring.
Writing of his people's deliverence from exile, and referring to God, the prophet declared, ''Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.''n3 To me, the fact that ''reward'' is mentioned before ''work'' is a reminder that if we're faithfully representing God by expressing the God-bestowed qualities of integrity, brotherly love, and purity, we'll experience the blessing of His constant care and approval right along with our good performance.
n3 Isaiah 40:10.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ''To live and let live, without clamor for distinction or recognition; to wait on divine Love; to write truth first on the tablet of one's own heart, - this is the sanity and perfection of living, and my human ideal.''n4 Adopting this mental posture and putting our trust totally in God's goodness, we'll rewarded daily.
n4 Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 2. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth II Timothy 2:15