Words from the Heart for Friday November 17th, 2017
Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
Proverbs 27:2 (NKJV)
Let Another Praise You
When we are applying for a job, we want to impress the people who could hire us. We list our experience and our strong points. In that setting, it is acceptable to tell what is true and authentic. However, if our only purpose is to make people think well of us, it is much better to leave the rehearsing of glowing praise to someone else. Humility doesn’t deny our accomplishments but it does test our motivation.
You may have missed this, but September 20, 2017 Canada celebrated the centennial of income tax. The Toronto Star published an editorial called “in praise of income tax” which laid out some of the benefits of this tax that so many Canadians grumble about rather than praise. According to the article, “The income tax made it possible for Canada to develop into the advanced society that we are today, enabling us to raise the revenue to create strong public programs in health care, education and social insurance.”
The height of narcissism is to praise oneself. People who do so tend to have few if any friends and live in their own little self-absorbed world. Human nature hasn’t changed over the centuries and so it isn’t surprising that the words of Solomon are so appropriate today. Proverbs 27:2 says “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” We all need encouragers. The Lord knew that and in Romans 12 we are told that one of the seven motivational gifts is that of the exhorter, or encourager. The book of Acts tells us about a man named Barnabas who was known as the Son of Encouragement. King Solomon knew that the praise of others can help encourage us to keep on walking with the Lord and serving Him. The issue comes when that leads to arrogance and conceit – self-praise. The antidote is to recognize that all we have comes from the Lord. Our confidence and recognition of our value must always be in light of the glory of God. In Him we have value and significance.
These have been words from the heart.