You Can Be Recognized and Rewarded Now


I believe in life after death, but I also believe in life before death. Jesus declared, "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10).

A major part of human development is recognition. I don't want to go too far back into my inner child—I will leave that to the psychologists—but I can remember being awarded a cute little New Testament for six months' perfect attendance at Northside Pilgrim Holiness Church in Indianapolis. This proves that my family didn't go anywhere on weekends. We never went anywhere, period. (Maybe that is the reason I have been everywhere.)

The most nervous I have been was at the Indianapolis public library in 1955, when at age nine I played my first piano recital. Dressed in my white shirt and blue bow tie, I sat down at the piano and played from John Thompson's first-grade book "Sleigh Bells," in the key of C. There was polite applause. I took a bow, mission accomplished. I could have been a concert pianist, but alas, both my pinkies are crooked.

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We all know that accomplishments and recognition build confidence. Fortunate children are surrounded with affirmation. Most of the adults in my life rewarded me when I did well. In those days, kids weren't burdened with a trophy for finishing ninth in a race or for just showing up. Awards were given to those who distinguished themselves. I found some affirmation in sports, especially basketball. At age thirteen, I played my first organized game in a run-down gym with a tile floor and scored fourteen points. Coaches, other players, and most important to me, cute girls suddenly liked me. People wanted to hang out with me. Most of the time this recognition led to good conduct, but as we know, success can foster bad stuff.

Those are my thoughts about the recognition piece. Stay tuned for my next blog coming soon about “the risks” that come with leadership…

 Written by Bill Hull

 Taken from The Christian Leader by Bill Hull. Copyright © 2016 by Robert W. Hull. Used by permission of Zondervan.

 Photo by Joey Huang on Unsplash