August 28, 2009

Test of Praise

Written by Boyd Bailey

Test of Praise… “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but a man is tested by the praise he receives”. Proverbs 27:21

There is the test of praise to make sure our motives are pure. Why do I do what I do? If it is for the praise of men then I have misdirected motives. My faith has faltered, as I am more concerned about pleasing people than my master Jesus. “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God” (John 5:44)? Praise from God builds belief and activates obedience.

Jesus did not receive man’s praise, “I do not accept praise from men” (John 5:41). He knew the danger of being enamored by earthly accolades instead of humbled by heaven’s honor. When the Lord leads you into a mission misunderstood by the masses do not be swayed. Stay the course with Christ, because His words of “well done” are all that really matters. Listen for the applause from heaven and let it drown out any ovations on earth.

The test of praise makes you more thankful and less critical, more respectful and less condescending, more patient and less demanding, and more diligent to learn and less inclined to grow lazy. When praise and glory come your way make sure you reflect it onto your Heavenly Father. Proud Herod forgot this, “Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died” (Acts 12:23). Anything praiseworthy in life is because of God’s blessings.

So when sincere saints offer you compliments quietly give them up to Christ. A courteous thank you and a private prayer of thanksgiving to God go a long way to passing the test of praise. Before long they will begin praising the Lord because of your service. “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” (2 Corinthians 9:13a). Do I let go of praise and leave it with the Lord? Do I praise God for His grace?

Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 20:21; Psalm 56:4; John 12:43; 1 Thessalonians 2:6

Transformational Living
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