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I am irked. I have given hours and hours of my time and lots of my money to particular people and particular purposes in my life. Not only have I gotten precious little praise in return, but normally I get criticism and complaints instead.

This morning I was wondering if I ought to say something about a particular grievance I have. It's quite funny to contemplate, because most likely I would still not be appreciated, but then I would also be viewed as a whiner.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not the only one who feels that they've given the best performance of their lives only to get the gong. Do you remember The Gong Show? There were contestants who obviously knew they had no talent and laughed really hard when they were given the gong. But there were others who were sincerely disappointed when they were rejected. What's the difference? When you know your goal and your audience, it's much easier to take your bruises and go home.

I realized that the reason I'm so rankled is because I was playing for the wrong audience for the wrong reason. If I'm going to go on after the gong, I need to recognize that I am playing for God. When I consider the time and money I've given, I know He appreciates it. When I consider my unappreciative human audience, I feel they don't deserve a minute or a dollar more of me. But in light of what Christ has done for me, I feel I could never do enough.

So join me on this world stage and give your all. Life goes on well after the gong has stopped.

Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. (2 Cor. 9:13)

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