Where Would We Be Without ‘Unsung Heroes’?

By Robert J. Tamasy

We rarely see them, but they are indispensable. I am talking about the people who do the work behind the scenes to make possible the successes we experience every day. We might call them “unsung heroes,” because they rarely receive the credit or acknowledgement they richly deserve. Every business and organization has them, men and women who undertake the details and drudgeries needed to see projects to fruition. Every major event, from conferences and conventions to concerts, could not take place without unnoticed individuals ensuring that every necessity has been addressed properly.

I was reminded of this recently after learning that one of the faithful people who each week translate Monday Manna from its original English into many other languages had passed away. For more than 20 years, Anna Fulchignoni of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil had translated Monday Manna from its original English into Italian. Her translated version was then distributed to Italian-reading people in many parts of the world. Who knows how many lives were touched by her diligent work?

Started in 1997, Monday Manna originally was available only in English, and sent out via fax. (Remember those machines?) Now, every edition of this workplace meditation is translated from English into more than 20 different languages and emailed around the globe to readers in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin and South America, Australia, and even parts of the Middle East. The translators labor in obscurity, solely because of their devotion to God and belief in what the Bible teaches for today’s marketplace.

We have no way of knowing for certain, but we estimate well over one million people every Monday receive Monday Manna in Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian and other languages. We owe our gratitude to the faithful people who do this work; for each, we might suspect, it is a labor of love.

Who are the “unsung heroes” where you work, doing the necessary but unnoticed behind-the-scenes work that makes it possible for your business or organization to carry out its mission? Perhaps you are one of those. Here are some things the Lord says about these individuals:

Measuring success by a different standard. We typically measure greatness by status, levels of income, fame and measurable productivity. However, Jesus gave a different perspective. “…‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them…. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be first must be slave of all’” (Mark 10:42-44).

The nobility of being a servant. If there was ever anyone who should not have performed uncelebrated, behind-the-scenes work, it was Jesus Christ. Yet He declared that more than anything, His role during His earthly ministry was that of a servant. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Little things add up to big accomplishments. After telling a parable about three workers who showed differing levels of diligence in their service, Jesus concluded by saying that those who did everything they could would be rewarded: “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:14-30).

© 2021. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. When you think of the term “unsung hero,” or behind-the-scenes worker,” who comes immediately to mind? What qualities of that person – or persons – stands out to you? 
  2. How do you feel when you have worked hard at a task or a project, and believe you have done it well, but receive little or no recognition for what you have done?
  3. Do you believe it is right that we give such honor and acclaim to people in the spotlight, including celebrities, star athletes, and prominent business leaders, without also recognizing the people who have contributed so significantly to their success?
  4. If you knew that you would never receive the attention and appreciation for your work from humans, but knew you would hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” from God, how would that change your approach to your job, your career – if at all? Explain your answer.                

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

    Proverbs 22:29; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Acts 20:22-23; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:17,23