The crucible is used for refining silver, the furnace for gold,
but praise is what tests a person’s mettle.
Isn’t that true? How many times do we see people changed by fame? Sadly not always for the better. And not just worldwide fame: when I do something particularly well and get complimented it’s too easy to puff up a bit and preen myself. Unfortunately, I’m setting myself up for a fall because there’s no way to maintain that standard being human and fallible. I’m not saying it’s wrong to praise someone, to encourage them by recognising things they do nor is it wrong to be encouraged or receive the praise. There’s nothing worse than false modesty – ducking my head and saying ‘aw shucks’ while inside I’m gloating over the compliment. Gracious acceptance and recognition that yes I did something well. Then move on.
There’s a bigger truth to recognise: the fact that God is the One who truly deserves our praise, He is the one who deserves worldwide fame and recognition. He is the one who should be held up for everyone to watch and study and gasp over.
Not for us, O Eternal One; this glory is not for us—but for Your name
because of Your loyal love and truth.
It’s hard sometimes to accept that everything I have and do is a gift from Him. Hard because of pride, because the world tells me I should celebrate and make the most of what I have, be self-satisfied because I did it, it was all me. The Truth says that all I have is a gift from God. The Truth says I can do nothing without Him but all things with Him. The Truth says I died and my life is now hidden with Christ in God and it is He that now lives in me.
Just as I have to rely on God for all the things I struggle with and can’t do; I also have to rely on Him for all the things I can do and find easy. I think the second part of that is far far harder than the first.