christian living

Free Yourself of Human Praise

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Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
(John 12:42-43, NIV)

How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
(John 5:44, NIV)

He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God's sight.
(Luke 16:15, NIV)

“These people really disgraced themselves”. “Is wedding by force?” “If you can’t afford it,don’t do it”. “What a shame?” “No, no, it was bad!” “It was not nice at all”. These are quotes from a conversation two people had after attending a wedding ceremony. Apparently, they had not been impressed at all by the wedding ceremony. “It was too cheap”, they said. Most people will not want their weddings to be spoken of this way. They will prefer people spoke well of their weddings. As a result, they will be careful to organize the wedding in such a manner as to attract the praises rather than the scorn of others. This illustrates well how human praises normally influence what people do. It is not just what people will say about our weddings but what they will say about our cars or lack of cars, what they will say about what we wear, where we live, which school we go to, where we work and so on. Consciously or unconsciously, we make many life choices based on attracting human praises and avoiding derision.

This would be alright if people praised what God praised and scorned what God scorned. If that were the case, being influenced by human praises will lead to one doing what God wants since people will only praise you for doing what God wants. Alas, that is not the case! People praise things God doesn’t care about. For instance, the “classiness” of your wedding or car or whatever means squat to God even though it attracts a lot of praises from people. Sometimes, people even praise things God scorns. As Luke 16:15 says “what people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” As a result, human praises often direct us away from the will of God. Those who concern themselves with human praises end up in the opposite direction of where God will have them. They end up outside the will of God. God’s will was for the people to believe but they could not because “they loved human praise more than praise from God”.

Pray that God will deliver you from the penchant of human praises. This is important because as long as you are concerned about the praises of people, you will not use your resources in the most optimum way possible to serve the Lord and the poor since you will spend inordinate amounts of your resources doing things that will attract human praises even if they do not matter.