Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised. (Proverbs 27:21 NLT)
Praise is really what tests a mans heart and motive. It is not uncommon for pride to creep in where praise is given. It usually seems as though praise makes room for a bigger ego, soon pride checks in and the world is supposed to come to a stand still of sorts for the man.
The usual response to excellence is praise. Even Paul and Barnabas were praised when they did great things (i.e according to Acts 14).
In Lycra, after Paul healed a lame man and he was able to walk, the crowd around begun to praise him and Barnabas. Their conclusion was that the ‘gods had come down to them in human form.’ In fact, Barnabas they called Zeus and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. They even went an extra mile and brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because they wanted to offer sacrifices to them. When Paul and Barnabas heard of this they were distraught, they tore their clothes and rushed into the crowd shouting “Men why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the Living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.”
Paul and Barnabas were desperate for God to be seen. They tore their clothes in protest, so that they could stress that their glory was to bring Christ glory. The crowd needed to divert their praise to the King of Kings, creator of all things.
How desperate are we that Christ is the one seen? Do we always divert the attention to Christ or do we divert it selectively, when it pleases us?
Our lives are meant to give God pleasure and make Him smile. As the Psalmist prayed, may we pray….
Psalm 115:1 (NIV)
Not to us, Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
May we always give the glory to the one who deserves All the glory, praise and honor.