I had a conversation with a friend the other day about seeking praise from others. She asked me if I felt it was a sin...and my immediate reaction was that it isn't. It made me think more about it though...in fact I thought about it a lot.
For me, I still do not see it as wrong. The bible teaches us we are made in the image of God. I would say that means we have a lot of his characteristics as well...or at least an innate desire to be like Him (knowing we can never get there). I say that to say I think he understands we want to be praised for a job well done. In fact, that is one of the things we seek....when we meet Him we desire to hear Him say, "well done".
I believe it could become a sin...if we are doing things to receive praise, and THAT is our only motive. And that's where I need to be careful...and I am sure I am not alone. I think that is where pride gets in our way. There can be such a fine line between things!
The more I thought about the praise, the more I wondered, are there humans that don't seek it? I think about how we teach our children...as they are learning and growing and they do something...they get a "wow" "big boy" "look at you". Then we enter school, and we loved getting the big stickers or stars on our papers. Or to see the words, "great job" "excellent".
And then we grow up....and we miss it. We still seek out those 'atta boys and pats on the back. We want to know we are doing well at what we do.
So, is it a part of us, or has it been taught to us? And if we seek it...why don't we give it out? There are so many people around me doing incredible things...at work, at home, in the church, and I ask, how often do I hand out the praise? I don't think enough.
I think we would make our world better...our homes, our workplaces, and our churches if we handed out more praise. Lift up what is good in this world...
My final authority on this would be the word of God...and praise of course is a word found throughout. We know our Heavenly Father seeks praise, and there is no one who deserves that more constant and purely. But there are scriptures revealing we are okay in seeking praise...it is a reward to us.
Proverbs 31:31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
And then there are scriptures which give us some warnings...
Proverbs 27:2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth--a stranger, not your own lips.
We must always remember, whose praise we should seek more than any human praise? And our works should show that.
John 12:43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
Just some random weekend thoughts about a conversation that had me thinking. I would love to know what you think.....
May my words be salt and light to you as you read them.