I saw many interesting things yesterday on my drive from Yosemite National Park to Southern California. All I had to do was pay attention and look out the window. And that got me thinking about Christians driving through life missing signs that are “hidden in plain sight.” It’s what I call the PRAISE FROM PEOPLE lifestyle. Christians everywhere on planet earth “playing the part” of a believer following Jesus. Asserting their Godly foundation while on a constant hunt for PRAISE FROM PEOPLE. Glorifying self in a personal public relations campaign to be seen by men and put on a pedestal by others.
It seems counter-intuitive, but this focus on PRAISE FROM PEOPLE is just another form of SPIRITUAL LONELINESS—separation or distance from God. I know the subject very well. I danced with this evil partner many times early in my walk with Jesus.
In the years since that period in my life, God has taught me that love of PRAISE FROM PEOPLE is a manifestation of FEARING MAN. It’s being afraid that people will embarrass or reject us. Ignore or expose us. Threaten or attack us.
How does this happen? Does it just appear in our lives?
It has deeply embedded roots that grow when we decide to make PEOPLE’s approval more important than GOD. Once that decision has been made, we hand people the power to dictate how we think. How we feel. Even what we do.
This flies in the face of God’s unambiguous truth that HE ALONE is the source of our joy. Not man. The Lord of Heaven and earth. Once we seek our joy from people, we have distanced ourselves from God and his never-ending and ever-lasting fountain of joy.
“Too much honey is bad for you, and so is trying to win too much praise.” Proverbs 25:27
Living a Christ-like life subordinates MAN to elevate GOD for the purpose of pleasing HIM. That, in turn, has an incredible impact on how we see people. We don’t ignore them or isolate from them. We LOVE them because we love God and have him in his proper place—on the throne of our life.
We’re not looking for God’s favor. We already have God’s favor. And since we have God’s favor, we do not have to seek man’s favor.
I ask God to help me fight off the urge to seek praise from people and, instead, focus on elevating HIM. All and always to HIS glory.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Do you focus on earning people’s praise more than you focus on GOD?
“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10