If you are serving in ministry, likely you will have a time or two (a week?) when you feel unappreciated. You work without thanks, probably without pay and with little encouragement. Not fun.
So, what’s a person to do in that situation? I was in that situation recently and after much, much prayer and a few tears, I think I may actually have learned a thing or two (thank You, Lord!).
Here are 5 things you can do when you Feel Unappreciated in Ministry
1. Take it to Jesus
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It hurts to be overlooked. Jesus understands that and He can handle your hurts. Take them to Him. Pour your heart out to Him. He knows what you’re thinking anyway. Get it off of your chest and lay it all at His feet. He cares for you deeply, as the precious Friend that He is. Release all of your hurt to Him. You can trust Him with it.
2. Turn it into Good
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9
If you feel unappreciated, there is a good chance someone around you feels the same way. Use the situation as an opportunity to show appreciation to others. Send them a little note, make them a meal, give them a sincere thank you in person–it doesn’t have to be a big thing or take a lot of time. Showing a little bit of appreciation in any way will go a long way to encourage someone. As an added bonus, chances are changing your focus from feeling unappreciated to showing appreciation will make you feel better too.
3. Know the Lord Appreciates You
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working FOR THE LORD, and not for men.” Colossians 3:23
When we serve in ministry we must keep this idea at the forefront. God sees all you do. He doesn’t miss a single thing. Every minute of work you do for Him is noticed and honors Him. If pleasing Him is the #1 goal of your ministry, know that You are certainly doing that. People miss things, but God never does. Rest in the fact that you are serving Him faithfully and He, the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, appreciates you!
4. Recognize that You are in Good Company–that of our Lord, Jesus
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” Hebrews 12:1-3
During His years of ministry, Jesus was far from appreciated. Sure, people wanted to be near Him to get what they could from Him, but most people did not appreciate Who He was. I mean, He was almost run off of a cliff by the folks in His hometown for revealing to them He was the Messiah (Luke 4:23-30)!
He was so unappreciated, in fact, that the people He had served and healed stood aside as He was unjustly punished and killed. Of course, that brought Jesus to fulfill His purpose here on Earth–dying to pay for our sin. Though He was unappreciated, He kept His eyes on the Father and did what He was meant to do.
Though our work cannot compare with what He did on the cross, we can take our cues from Him. We can keep our eyes on the Father and do what we are meant to do. Then, just like Jesus, we will fulfill the work He has for us and please our Father in Heaven.
5. Praise the Lord!
“God is wise and powerful! Praise him forever and ever.” Daniel 2:20
Whatever trials, big or small, come in our lives, God WILL use to teach us something. Praise Him for what He taught you or will teach you from this one. I had a confirmation of my calling through a recent trial of feeling unappreciated. That is definitely something to praise God for.
How about you? Did God comfort you? Praise Him for that! Did He teach you something? Praise Him for that? Did you draw closer to Him? Praise Him!
Let’s do that now, shall we?
Precious Heavenly Father, often in my life I feel unappreciated, but I know how much You love and appreciate me and I praise You that You are all I really need in this life. I thank You for what You teach me through trials and pain. I thank You for the way I have grown during those times and I praise You for showing, ever patiently showing me the way to walk after You. Thank You! Thank You! Amen
Have you learned something else to do when you feel unappreciated? Please share it in the comments!