Graduating with Honors – A Tribute to My Daughter and the Class of 2020 (Audio available)

Photo by Stanley Morales on

She did not receive any special awards during the improvised graduation ceremony, even though she was highly deserving. Yet again, she was overlooked.

Her record and example speak for themselves…steady, gifted, a servant-leader, but as if often goes, most of the recognition went to the standouts – not to the standbacks like her, those who tend to quietly blend into the background.

And that’s how life goes sometimes graduates.

To be honored by others is a curious thing. Sometimes recognition comes your way when you least expect it and other times, when you are hopeful and hungry for it, it skips you, leaving you wondering “Why not me?”

You probably already know this, but your worth and significance is not based on the fickle applause of people, but on the unchanging fact of who you are in Christ. For starters, you are chosen, destined, immeasurably blessed, redeemed, forgiven, and victorious. In Christ, you’ve already made it. Don’t bother trying to prove to people that you matter. Jesus already did that.

Hey, it’s flattering to be recognized but, as illustrated by the likes of Melville’s Moby Dick, the paintings of VanGogh, and ultimately by the life of Jesus, sometimes greatness goes completely unnoticed by its contemporaries. Whether your efforts here are noticed or not, know that they are most definitely noticed up there.

I read something in the Gospel of John recently that hit me between the eyes. It was this short statement:

For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” -John 12:43

I found it convicting because sometimes I slip into the mode of performing for people’s praise rather than for God’s glory. It’s tempting, isn’t it? To live for “likes,” “attaboys,” and “attagirls” even though it’s never enough?

But there’s a better way. And that is to live each day that God gives us for His honor and glory, knowing that the recognition that really matters is coming someday when we stand before Him at the last Graduation.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. -Colossians 3:23-24

Abigail Monet Adams, congratulations. I see you. But more importantly, God sees you.

And I imagine He’s smiling.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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