Man’s Praise or God’s?

You know how you can be reading through the Scriptures and a passage jumps out at you? That happened for me this morning as I was meditating on chapter 13 of the Gospel of John. Here’s what stood out:

Many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise from God.

I’m in a profession as a professor/teacher that normally seeks the praise of others. I want those I teach to take my words seriously and to respect me. After all, didn’t I spend all those years earning this doctorate? Shouldn’t I be considered an expert?

Upon reading this passage, the Lord, speaking in that still small voice in my heart, asked me, “Who are you trying to impress? Are you seeking the praise of people more than praise from Me?”

Jesus continued by saying, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.”

That verse reminded me that if I desire the praise of men more than God’s favor, I am actually partaking of the darkness that permeates this world and its systems.

If anyone hears My words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.

So what is the Lord telling me today? Get my motives right. Do all for Him, not for human praise. Never walk away from His truth or hide my faith for fear of what others may say. Perhaps this Scripture says it all: