Well Done Good and Faithful Servant?
One of the most interesting questions in the life of a Christian following Jesus is: “Where do we quench our human desire for affirmation and approval?” It’s a question animated by myriad contradictions—it can be good or great; devastating or dangerous.
Failure to understand these approval/affirmation contradictions will trap us in a confusing toggle between truth and fiction. That’s dangerous because every minute we’re suspended in confusion about this is a minute disconnected from God’s power and love and grace.
I look at worldly praise like FIRE–it can be harnessed for good or unleashed for bad.
Aching and angling for the approval of others makes it difficult, if not impossible, to hear God’s “well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).
We can easily be deceived by the praise of others. If we travel this road that focuses on gaining worldly approval, it is difficult to hear God’s DIRECTION—let alone his CORRECTION.
I regularly remind myself that the yearning for worldly praise has two drivers: 1) The HIGH it delivers; and 2) The LOW of being REJECTED. And then I consider this question: Does the praise I receive from the world reveal my heart?
The answer, in part, can be found by considering whether we will hold onto the praise we receive from others or give God the credit? Will we take on an air of superiority and self-confidence or will we kneel before the God of Heaven and earth and give him the credit?
The bottom line is that man’s DISAPPROVAL cannot touch us and man’s APPROVAL cannot satisfy our deep yearning for God’s truth.
“ Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
None of this suggests we should avoid praise. It just means we should be on guard constantly for its idolatry sucker punch that can mislead or distract us away from living for and serving Jesus to gain life’s HIGHER PRAISE.