Human praise is something of a trap.
This is what the emperor found out a little too late. In the tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, a proud peacock of an emperor is blinded by his own pride as two swindlers make him the finest new suit. Supposedly the suit is invisible to anyone who is not clever and wise. The emperor thinks this will put him in a class by himself. He’s right, but not the way he imagines.
The invisible suit is non-existent, a ruse, and as he is paraded around in full view of his subjects, in….well, (ahem), full view….only a little child is unimpressed enough to blurt out the truth…the emperor is strutting around in his underwear.
Be careful where your accolades and praise come from.
In ministry, Pastors (especially) must guard against believing our press reports...you know -- the dear things you all say on the way out the door. Pastor, that was a great sermon -- you’re such a good preacher. Believe me, there is a tendency to feed on that, instead of letting God be your judge.
Now, it’s O.K. to give a pat on the back, or credit where due – just don’t go looking for it. You might get it from man, and be a stench in God’s nostrils in the bargain.
For You, Today…
Put your praise where it belongs – lifted up to heaven where Jesus is at the right hand of the Father.
Receive praise only if it comes down from there. You remember – well done, thou good and faithful servant.