So Haman came in, and the king said, “What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?”
Haman thought to himself, “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?”
Esther 6:6 (NLT)
Wendy and I watched the annual Emmy awards last night on television. I chuckled to myself as I watched. There is no industry like the entertainment industry for sheer self-indulgent self-promotion. Even the host last night made fun of the fact that the Emmy awards were named after who they are really all about: M – E.
The sight of the self-congratulatory television stars came to mind this morning when I read about Haman’s blunder. The contrast between Mordecai and Haman could not be more stark. Mordecai was motivated to do what was right without expecting any reward for it. Haman did what made him look good and expected to be exalted. Haman was blind to the notion that the king would want to honor anyone more than himself.
I learned a long time ago that if you desire recognition you will surely be disappointed. Hard work, doing the right thing and the satisfaction of a job well done produce their own reward. Jesus said:
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
Today, I find myself prompted to do a little heart check. Are my actions and deeds motivated by desire for Hollywood like or Haman like self-promotion and recognition? Or, am I willing to do the right thing without consideration of the earthly cost or human reward?