I like receiving praise, respect, greetings and recognition. Who doesn’t? That desire can be a trap when I find myself ‘putting on a show’ of external righteousness instead of being genuine and real. Nobody is perfect and when we proclaim our own virtue we will soon find ourselves hypocritical. Instead, I should be content to ‘fly under the radar’ of popularity and praise. God calls me to be humble and consistent in living out what I believe. Jesus told the crowds- “Don’t be like the scribes and Pharisees” because they add burdens to what God requires. They demand obedience by others, but don’t follow their own rules. They are like the elites and politicians of our day- hypocrites! Jesus, ultimately called them to their face the “sons of hell”. Ouch! Instead, let’s be children of our Heavenly Father, walking in truth as we follow the example and commands of Jesus, the Son. That’s who I want to be like!
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses. Therefore, whatever they tell you, do and comply with it all, but do not do as they do; for they say things and do not do them. And they tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as their finger. And they do all their deeds to be noticed by other people; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the seats of honor in the synagogues, and personal greetings in the marketplaces, and being called Rabbi by the people. But as for you, do not be called Rabbi; for only One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters. And do not call anyone on earth your father; for only One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called leaders; for only One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest of you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23: 1-12 NASB
With all the hype in social media counting view, likes, etc., How an I guarding my heart from desiring the praise of men versus the praise of God?
God, as this day begins, I am so glad my grandchildren love me. They aren’t really impressed with me, but we share a mutual affection. I am simply their “papa” who plays with them in their playroom. My wife certainly knows me well and there is no faking her out. And Lord, You know me completely- and You still love me and like me. With that in mind, I determine to not seek the praise of men, but rather of God. May I be a servant to someone in need today.