Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A FAVORITE VERSE, BUT VERY CHALLENGING - PROVERBS 27:2

I'm going to let you in on a bit of myself - I LOVED TO BE PRAISED.  I eat it up, soak it in, take it to heart and try my best to balance it all out with a healthy dose of humility so my head doesn't get too much bigger.

Proverbs 27:2 states, "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips."

Why is this so challenging?  Because I know what I think I do best.  Others may disagree and think I'm on another level than where I think I'm at, but that is where the "rub" begins.  I want to start my speech out with the same person that started this sentence - "I".  Then, I want to brag a little.  Shoot!  How else are you going to know I did something of worth outside of my relationship with you?  I guess I don't trust others enough to tell, do I?

Somebody else had what I call this "I Disease" and he fell hard and permanently.  Isaiah 14:12-15 speaks to this disease and subsequent fall.  I definitely DO NOT want to be this dumb, stupid, and extreme.  Talk about learning from someone's example, this is a great one.  Lesson 1 - What words NOT to say to the King of Glory.  Lesson 2 - Pride, something that is dangerous.  I can imagine the angels around Lucifer when he decided to rebel saying something like -(Lucifer: "I will ascend to heaven") "What did you just say?", ("I will raise my stars above the throne of God") "Do you understand the words that are coming out of your mouth?", ("I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain") "RIIIIGHT, you are going to try to play King of the Mountain with The King?", ("I will ascend above the tops of the clouds") "You are already airheaded to think this way Lucifer", ("I will make myself like the Most High God") "DANGER Will Robinson, DANGER!".

Pride, the dark side of praise.  Not to say that we should not give anyone praiseworthy words or encouraging/uplifting compliments. On the contrary, Proverbs 3:27 encourages us to give a pat on the back to whomever, whenever we can.  It says, "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."  But Proverbs 27:21 also warns that praise is a constant test - "The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives."  In addition, the "air about me/you" or how we carry ourselves should line up with Scripture, such as Proverbs 29:23 - "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor."    If praise is not tempered quickly with humility it has potential to do an amazing amount of damage, not only to yourself but to others around you as well.

Take away that you could have skipped to the bottom here and read - Praise, give it - but when you get it be careful what you do with it.