Seek Only God’s Praise
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.
In Proverbs 27:21, we’ll see that praise from others is like a hot crucible used to refine metal. In the verse above, praise from others is better than self-praise, which is condemned in Scripture (2 Corinthians 10:18). But if we want praise without potentially disastrous results, we will seek praise only from the Lord.
Is it wrong for Christians to praise one another, to encourage each other in the faith? No, encouragement is very beneficial. We are commanded to do it (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; 10:25). But this proverb is not about giving praise, it’s about seeking praise.
If we seek praise from our own lips, it is self-righteous and cheap. People see right through it. On the other hand, if we seek the praise of others, we may become like the Pharisees who “loved the praise of others more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43). Our motivation is all-important. If we do good works only to be praised by others, their praise is the only reward we’ll ever get (Matthew 6:1-6).
How much better to seek our reward and praise from God. The “another” or “someone else” in Proverbs 27:2 should be Christ. How will He reward you? With a joy and peace that pass all understanding, and with a treasury of eternal riches laid up for you in heaven; it’s the only praise worth having.
Goliath. What a contrast in this boasting Gentile. While the boy David approached, he praised himself and boasted of his ability to carve the lad up and feed him to the birds. A few seconds later, the giant lost his head (1 Samuel 17:41-51).
The centurion. This Gentile was a humble man. He asked Jesus to heal his servant, adding that he was unworthy for Christ to come into his house. He was praised by the elders of the Jews and later by Jesus Himself (Luke 7:3-9).
Prayer of Application
Lord God, keep my eyes focused on Jesus. Let me seek praise from no one else, as I seek to bring glory not to myself or to any other, except to Him who saves me and makes all life possible.
Copyright 2014 – Robert C. Beasley