The Source of Praise
Of what do we boast? In what ways do we seek praise? All of us enjoy the pat on the back, recognition for a job well done, and sincere appreciation for the value of our contributions. God knows that about us. He also knows that sometimes we grow impatient, waiting on all that good feedback, and feel compelled to help it along a bit. Proverbs guides us away from the need to self-promote and self-congratulate.
1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
2Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.
19As in water face reflects face,
So a man's heart reveals the man.
21The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.
I often can confound myself in this area. When in my weakness I seek undue attention, it is often at precisely those moments when I experience the moral equivalent of the toilet paper trailing from my shoe. You know what I mean. When I am most looking for that positive affirmation of my skills, or abilities, or performance, that's when my tires go flat.
Yet when we don't look for praise, or when it comes unexpected, how much greater joy we feel! How much more pumped up we are, how much more gratified. These experiences are a reflection of our hearts, and that is why so many very famous people who strive for attention, are so miserable and forlorn. When you have to work that hard at recognition, you don't end up feeling very good about yourself, and ironically, your need for positive affirmation increases all the more.
Seek first His righteousness, then all these will be added unto you.