Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Thursday, May 31, 2012
How to Handle Praise
Read | Proverbs 27:21
How do you respond when someone compliments you? Some people absolutely love receiving praise because it lifts their spirits and makes them feel valuable. Others are uncomfortable with it. They look down at their feet or offer reasons why they really don’t deserve such praise.
For Christians, there’s another dilemma. We’re called to be humble, so what are we to do when others say good things about us? Because pride is always waiting to raise its ugly head, we need to be careful not to let praise puff us up. Some believers think that accepting a compliment is a sign of pride, so they make a big show of giving all the glory to God. That’s fine, if it’s really what’s in their hearts, but too often it becomes a rote “Christian” response that’s geared to impressing others.
My advice is simply to say, “Thank you very much.” Then whisper a prayer in your heart to the Lord, thanking Him for the blessing, recognizing that anything worthy of praise ultimately comes from Him. If you felt encouraged, let the person know how the comment blessed you. If you receive praise for an achievement that was really a group effort, be sure to redirect the compliment to all those who were involved. A blessing is always more enjoyable when it’s shared.
Our character is tested by the praise that comes to us. Every compliment that bounces into our ears should quickly rebound up to the Father. If we hold onto it, the poison of pride will begin to infect our hearts. But if we pass the praise to God, humility takes up residence in our souls.
Proverbs 27 (NASB)
Warnings and Instructions
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy and the sand weighty,
But the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them.
4 Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood,
But who can stand before jealousy?
5 Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
7 A sated man loathes honey,
But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet.
8 Like a bird that wanders from her nest,
So is a man who wanders from his home.
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.
10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend,
And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away.
11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
That I may reply to him who reproaches me.
12 A prudent man sees evil and hides himself,
The naive proceed and pay the penalty.
13 Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for an adulterous woman hold him in pledge.
14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning,
It will be reckoned a curse to him.
15 A constant dripping on a day of steady rain
And a contentious woman are alike;
16 He who would restrain her restrains the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.
18 He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit,
And he who cares for his master will be honored.
19 As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.
20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
21 The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And each is tested by the praise accorded him.
22 Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
23 Know well the condition of your flocks,
And pay attention to your herds;
24 For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25 When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
26 The lambs will be for your clothing,
And the goats will bring the price of a field,
27 And there will be goats’ milk enough for your food,
For the food of your household,
And sustenance for your maidens.