I am a trophy hunter – not with a gun – but I love a good trophy and I tend to hunt for them. That desire is key for thriving in corporate America – you got to love getting the big win and the big award recognizing your greatness.

Trophies have a lot of forms. Sports trophies. Hunting and fishing trophies. You can have a trophy wife – or trophy husband. You can have a trophy job. Or maybe your trophy is your patent, your degree, your book (if you’re an author). Some of us even make our kids our “trophy”.

Your trophy is whatever proves to the world you are of value – that you accomplished something.

The question I have to ask myself is why I need trophies? What is it inside me that demands I get presented with some kind of award that documents my greatness? Why do I need or want some kind of recognition that I beat someone in something?

I have to find and understand what drives me to get a trophy or I will sacrifice things that really matter in order to gain that trophy.

My drive for trophies has cost me financially. It has cost me in friendships. It has hurt my family. It has contributed to my inability to be truly successful in ministry and, odd as it may sound, in corporate America as well.

After the church I was pastoring closed, a member of the congregation asked this question: Rick, were we your friends or were we your trophy? Were we your partners in ministry or were we what you needed to show people that you were being successful? Was what you were trying to achieve through us for us or for yourself?

Shame is defined as a fear of having our weakness exposed – whatever we think our “weakness” is.   So we find ways to hide our weakness – shame DEMANDS we find a way to hide our weaknesses – it protects us from having our vulnerability exposed.

There are a lot of things we hide behind. One of them is trophies.