And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, "God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5 (TEV)
"Real servants don't serve for the approval or applause of others."
Real servants maintain a low profile. Servants don't promote or call attention to themselves. Instead of acting to impress and dressing for success, they "put on the apron of humility, to serve one another" (1 Peter 5:5 TEV).
If recognized for their service, they humbly accept it but don't allow notoriety to distract them from their work. Paul exposed a kind of service that appears to be spiritual but is really just a put-on, a show, an act to get attention. He called it "eyeservice," serving in order to impress people with how spiritual we are (Ephesians 6:6 KJV; Colossians 3:22 KJV).
This was a sin of the Pharisees. They turned helping others, giving, and even prayer into a performance for others. Jesus hated this attitude and warned, "When you do good deeds, don't try to show off. If you do, you won't get a reward from your Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:1 CEV).
Self-promotion and servanthood don't mix. Real servants don't serve for the approval or applause of others. They live for an audience of One. As Paul said, "If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10 NIV).
You won't find many real servants in the limelight; in fact, they avoid it whenever possible. They are content with quietly serving in the shadows.
Joseph is a great example. He didn't draw attention to himself, but quietly served Potiphar, then his jailer, then Pharaoh's baker and wine taster, and God blessed that attitude. When Pharaoh promoted him to prominence, Joseph still maintained a servant's heart, even with his brothers, who had betrayed him.
Unfortunately, many leaders today start off as servants but end up as celebrities. They become addicted to attention, unaware that always being in the spotlight blinds you.
You may be serving in obscurity in some small place, feeling unknown and unappreciated. Listen: God put you where you are for a purpose! He has every hair on your head numbered, and he knows your address.