I love the "why does everyone get a trophy?" debate. When I was a principal at the elementary level, I could see the reaction to the certificates and awards that all children received and note the look on their faces. Achievement is not driven by the idea that I will get an award and recognition when I reach the accomplishment. The staff and I would spend hours in conversation about appropriate recognition of effort and true recognition of accomplishment. How best to recognize effort and not discourage someone who is struggling? Mike Matheny talks about the same in "The Matheny Manifesto" as he talks of putting baseball, skills, life and winning in perspective.
The disciples were no different at the feet of Jesus himself. In Matthew, James and John approach Christ via their mother at first and then speak for themselves asking, "May we sit at your right and your left in your kingdom?" (20:21). The question is one of pride. "We want to be high in your pecking order. We want to be prominent in your kingdom." Christ replies, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" (22). They didn't know what they were asking. Christ had foretold of his suffering and death twice prior to this moment, but it didn't seem to sink in.
This speaks volumes. We seem to be more like James and John when we allow our pride to enter our service to Christ. Perhaps the notion of a trophy in the form of how others view our service gets in our way of true service, like it did James and John. Maybe our trophy is the hopes it will earn us higher status in Christ's eyes. Fortunately, that's not how it works. Grace is what makes us acceptable in Christ's eyes. Grace and grace alone.
Pray that we aren't like James and John. Pray that our service is from our heart and that it is a response for the love Christ has given us.
Hope Men's Ministry