There are modern ways to express this, sayings like “it’s amazing what gets done when no one cares who gets the credit.” We sing it in song, a reminder that all we do in our Christian walk is to let God get the notice, accolades, and praise. But, that is a struggle most people have with their flesh.
And while it may seem like a “lesser sin” to want recognition and attention for our good deeds, our Lord shows great and visible displeasure with those who long for the spotlight on their works. In Matthew 6, Jesus preaches about areas like giving, fasting, and praying where men desire others’ to notice and praise them for those deeds. Jesus strongly rebuked groups like the scribes and Pharisees who lived for the respectful greetings in the marketplace and the chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers (Luke 20:46-47). Jesus said such “will receive greater condemnation” (see also Matt. 23:6ff; Luke 14:17; etc.).
Be careful not to be the type who jockeys for the position of chief. God is going to reward all the faithful with an eternal reward far beyond what we can imagine right now. It is not our place to inform others of how valuable we are, what we are worth to the church, how indispensable we are to a project or program, or even to tell others how righteous and spiritual we are. Effective church work is done when each individual catches the spirit that it is not about “me”! It is about “He.” He gives salvation. He gives the abilities. He gives the opportunities. He gives the orders. We are worthless slaves doing our duty (Luke 17:10). If others praise your work, be gracious, appreciative, and ever humble. If they do not, know that our Lord keeps an indelible record that cannot be misplaced, destroyed, or forgotten. Meanwhile, in all things, let us strive to give GOD the glory!