What Praise Do You Seek?

I have been reading through the Gospel of John.  This morning, I was in chapter 12 when I came across a few verses that jumped from the page at me.  John 12:42 & 43 says, Many people DID BELIEVE in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders.  But they WOULDN’T ADMIT IT for FEAR that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue.  For they LOVED HUMAN PRAISE MORE than the praise of God.  (Emphasis mine).

How true is that of now?  How many of us say, to ourselves, that we believe in Christ, yet for fear, we keep quite because we don’t want to lose the praise of our friends and family?  When that is the case, in truth, we are valuing our life here on earth MORE than we are valuing our eternal life.  We need to be careful of that though.  In John 12:25 Jesus tells us that “Those who love their life in this world will lose it.  Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.”  So, why do we hunger so much for praise from people?

I’ve been reading a book called The Seven Deadly Sins And How To Overcome Them by Graham Tomlin.  The first sin that he covers is ultimately the most deadly.  Hubris.  Superbia.  Otherwise known as Pride.  T.S. Eliot says, “Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.”  To me, pride would be one of the reasons that we seek human praise out more than the praise of God.  We want to be important.  Pride is a slippery thing.  We teach that we should have pride in ourselves, our work, our family and such.  We need to be careful to where that is balanced with humility.  Confession, repentance and humility is the way to defeat pride.

I have to say that I have fallen prey to this.  Seeking out human praise.  And really what it boils down to is the lack of a close relationship with Christ and being overly prideful.  Getting praise is quicker when coming from people.  Getting praise from God takes some effort on our part.  Sometimes He uses people to give you that praise, but accept it humbly.  We have to be tuned in to His voice.  If not, we won’t hear Him giving us the praise He so longingly wants to give.  His heart aches when He doesn’t have that closeness with us.  Just the same way our heart aches when our children reject us or no longer want a hug from us.  But we love them anyway.  He wants us to seek Him.  He wants to be the one dancing over us.  He loves us.

When we do things, we need to remember to do them for the praise of God.  He is the most important audience we will ever have.  =)  Be Blessed!

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