March 27

Written by Bill Grandi on March 27th, 2024

I read an interesting verse this morning that I have to admit, got me thinking some. Proverbs 27:21 says, “Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.” (NLT)

The fire testing the purity of silver and gold part I get. Peter uses that same imagery in I Peter 1:7 where he writes, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (NLT)  So having our faith tested by going through fire is to be expected.

It is the latter part that has me curious. “A person is tested by being praised.” But then I started thinking: How many people do I know who have changed once they started being praised? The accolades started rolling in. The words of praise were said, conveyed, and maybe even printed. And it is like a switch is flipped. The person changes. The man in the mirror is no longer recognizable. Gone is humility. Gone is sympathy and empathy. Gone is a wonder at life. And, even more tragic, gone is a softness and yieldedness to the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Decisions are made, not so much by what does God think? but what will please my followers? The praise of man overrides the praise and approval of God. It think it would be correct to say that the genuineness of a person’s faith is tested by fire, but so is the humility of that person’s faith.

Be careful-be very careful-of the applause of men. If you receive it, don’t allow it to go to your heard or to change you. Stay humble. Stay grateful. Stay alert to the enemy’s schemes. 

 

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Wise words this morning. It is easy to fall into the trap of chasing applause, recognition, and even fame. One sure way to bring yourself back to earth is just to ask your spouse how you can improve or to help identify your weaknesses.
    In all seriousness, they probably know you better than most outside of God. Sometimes they know you even better than you know yourself.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Ryan. And you already know how I feel about Jo and her perception of me and how much weight I put into her words. She is honest without being brutal. 🙂

  2. gail says:

    Good points Bill. As much as we all love close friends we also need to make sure that we keep ourselves and our friends from relying on each others approval or opinions before God’s words. It’s easy sometimes to say we are all christians, so we can trust the words of each other, and we forget to make sure that scripture backs up what we say and do without any paraphrasing or short cuts. Keep ourselves and our friends both grateful and humble.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Gail. I agree. Even with close friends we need to make sure we are not seeing their approval instead of God’s. Even friends can “snow job” us.

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