Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Praise You in the Morning, Praise You in the Evening . . ."


John 5:41
"I do not accept glory from human beings."

We all need encouragement, don't we? Those thoughtful words, spoken or written to us, which compliment our new dress, our finesse on the job, or a gourmet meal prepared to perfection.

The words that make us smile. Put that extra spring in our step. Give us that warm fuzzy feeling all over.

Fill us with pride . . .

Oops!

Therein, lies the rub.

While we can and should take pride in how we look or what we do, to be dependent upon recognition by others to validate our existence leads us down a treacherously slippery slope.

Instead of accepting compliments gracefully and moving on, we cling to them.

And, work furiously toward earning the next feather in our cap. Pleasing others to get their attention. Craving the next accolade and the next and the next.

Eventually, our only friends are flatterers. Using us for whatever purpose they deem us necessary. Dumping us like yesterday's trash when our usefulness to them is spent.

And, there we sit . . .

An empty vessel, devoid of self.

Because, we do not build our personality, our sense of worth, in God's image. Rather, we see the whole meaning of our lives reflected in the mirrors others hold to our face.

We seek glory from others when we should be glorifying our Creator.

Thanking Him for giving us life and love and salvation.

Paying our highest compliments to Him.
~
Are you or someone you know addicted to praise? What can you do to change the situation?

Will you pray with me?
We all need encouragement and praise, Father. Help us to gratefully receive compliments and give sincere, heartfelt ones to others. May our only addiction to praise be in praising You. Amen.

Readings
Psalms 50 or (59, 60), 118
Genesis 16:15-17:14
Hebrews 10:1-10
John 5:30-47

16 comments:

  1. It’s a spiritual training process to accept compliments, and yet not DEPEND on them for our sense of well-being. Have you ever received praise from God? He does compliment us at times, you know. Sometimes I hear the still, small voice praising my right spirit or attitude or actions. And I rather depend on His praise. Not sure He depends on OUR praise, but I know He appreciates it ;-) AS for the others… honest and sincere tributes are good, while flattery will get us nowhere :-( So true dearest friend!

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    Replies
    1. Wow, Debra, just love your thoughts here!
      Yes, it is definitely a spiritual training process to accept compliments graciously. I have heard from Him in the sense of feeling at peace, that "well done, good and faithful servant" feeling . . . nothing like it!
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings, my friend!

      Delete
  2. Hi Martha:
    Interesting you wrote about this today. My column on Friday briefly skirts this same issue. ALMOST, but NOT quite. Thank you for stopping by today.
    --
    Chris

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Chris!
      Thanks for stopping by today. I'll be sure to look for your post on Friday. Incidentally, this post is really for tomorrow; I accidentally hit the wrong button.:( Oh, well, such is the bloggers life . . .
      Today's is "Peek-a-Boo" if you get the chance.
      Really, really enjoyed your post today. So uplifting!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  3. Oh this is so fit for my reflections this week. I was contemplating on mirrors, projections and reflections ~ isn't it normal to crave for praises? and yet it isn't the thing that should determine who we are and our worth.

    I love seeing the best in people and when I look at their beauty, I praise God~ Oh how wonderful You have created each one of us!

    And when sometimes, I'm filled with negative thoughts and start looking for unnecessary things to fill me in ~ I thank God for people's kind words and I pray with you Martha. I pray that God will overshadow my weaknesses and continue praising Him despite of my blurred visions in life :)

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    1. Oh, Melissa, your words are a tonic!
      Yes, it is normal to want to be praised, but to be able to turn these back to the Creator, to offer thanksgiving for the presence of others and the gifts He has given us is, indeed, what we must be about.
      And, no, others opinions and assessments should never be the measure of who we are in God's eyes.
      He will open the eyes of our hearts . . .
      Blessings, my friend!

      Delete
  4. i love praise! and one of the most important aspects of my daily spiritual discipline is to turn it all back onto the one who really deserves it, God. for me, i differentiate between feeling 'good' or feeling 'special' -- special is a red flag. nobody's any more special than anybody else.

    great post, Martha! thank you!

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  5. Oh, Linda, turning it all over to Him . . . I love your discernment between feeling good or feeling special. And, you are so right. None of us, in the eyes of God, are better than another. Knowing and believing that, I believe, truly helps us to be humble and to sincerely love our neighbors as ourselves.
    Thank you, Linda, as I thank the One who has graciously given me this gift.
    Blessings, dear!

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  6. Hello Martha.
    While it's nice to be recognized for a job well done, compliments & accolades should only be taken for what it is...a kind gesture from one heart to another.

    The real praise & credit belongs to the Almighty first & foremost because He is the giver of life and man, as much as he might try to deny it, cannot live independent of Him.

    Lovely post.
    Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the visits too.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Andy, for stopping by!
      Yes, the real praise and credit does belong to God, always and at all times. And, kindnesses shown to one another with heartfelt sincerity are a blessing to us, too.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  7. Appreciation is important for the work and the effort you have put in. It is the recognition for the hard work and perseverance as long as it does not go into your head...and you start expecting people to appreciate you even when not deserved.
    Nice post.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Janu, and thanks so much for coming by today!
      Yes, it's fine to appreciate with our hearts, but absolutely not let it go to our heads. That's when the trouble starts . . .
      Blessing to you and prayers for healing!

      Delete
  8. We all like appreciated for our work..but that doesn't mean we should live for that alone.As small children, we are taught to say thank you and to vocalize our appreciation whether it is heartfelt or not. It is the polite thing to do… even if what we have received is not exactly what we wanted. Any thing else would be rude.By habit and to fulfill expectations many say (and some mean) they are thankful for God’s love, His mercy, and His grace. Those are definitely good things to be thankful for.But, do we truly “appreciate” them? Do our actions and lives reflect our words of gratitude? Do we serve them and strive to do our best by them?Or, do we only appreciate them when things are going our way? When they are ‘blessing’ us? When they are meeting our needs and wants?A true believer finds reason to praise and glorify God with thanksgiving. He knows that in spite of this moment, God has done great things for him. He trusts in God and relies upon Him. Even in the midst of the storm, he does not lose his appreciation for God, and his heart overflows with praise and thanksgiving.

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    1. Alpana, you've offered a perfect gem of a comment here!
      We should all live with a "gratitude attitude" even when the storms of life hit us and nothing seems to be going right. It is imperative to trust in the Lord always and ever remember, as you said, all the great and wonderful things He has done for us.
      Thanks so much for taking time to stop by and leave all the readers with your inspiring thoughts!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. You are so very welcome, Adriana! :)
      Blessings!

      Delete

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