Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
This is a proverb that knocks the “self-promotion” right out of us…or does it?
It really doesn’t matter what stage of life I am in, “blowing my own horn” has always been a struggle within me.
“Did you see me, Dad? Did I do good?”
“Did you see that, Coach? Did I do good?”
“Did you see that, honey? Aren’t you proud of me?”
“Did you see what I did on the Performance Review? Do I walk on water or not?”
Is it because I am not looking for evidences of grace and encouraging others in such that I am reaping what I sow?
Yes, I need to swallow my pride if I am not noticed—knowing my Father in Heaven notices. If I serve in secret then I know I serve before the heavenly host.
But I am weak in the flesh; sometimes I think that I need a pat on the back, a comment, an appreciation. Even the Scriptures recognize this: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV) So, what do I do? 1) I do my best not to cultivate an evil, unbelieving heart through whining and complaining I get no love from my brothers; 2) I do my best TO cultivate a heart that is focused on the One Who Sees All Things and loves me dearly—more than I will ever know, and; 3) Change my ways so that I REALLY look for evidences of Grace in others, that I will recognize and speak encouraging, exhorting, specific words of encouragement so that those guys will not fall under the deceitfulness of Sin.
Can I really be like Barnabas, Father? Can I change my ways from being overly concerned about myself to the end that I am more concerned about others? Can I change from being critical or negative to being otherwise? How about if I practice on my wife, children and family first? For that, Lord God, I need a heart that is constantly about this part of the Gospel. Not just positive, but caring, merciful, noticing and not ignoring, saying something and not just nodding sagely. I need to be like You. Please catch me up by the scruff of the hair when I am not responding to Your Whisper and help me repent of my wicked ways.