Approval, Commendation, and Praise of Men (Part 1)


Approval, Commendation, and Praise of Men (Part 1) I. Overview 1. The purpose of this study is to get a Biblical, balanced view of the subject of the approval, commendation, and praise of men. 2. The approval, commendation, and praise of men… A. is a good thing when it is deserved. B. is not a good thing if it is undeserved, or if the character or work being praised is not good in the sight of God. C. should not be sought after or coveted. D. should not be expected. E. should not be withheld from those who deserve it. 3. The approval, commendation, and praise of God should be far more important to us than that of men. II. Definitions 1. Approval n. – a. The action of approving; sanctioning approbation. 2. Approve v. – 1. To make good (a statement or position); to show to be true, prove, demonstrate. 6. To pronounce to be good, commend. 3. Approved adj. – 1. Proved or established by experience, tried, tested. 3. Pronounced good; justified, sanctified, commended, esteemed. 4. Commend v. – 1. To give in trust or charge, deliver to one’s care or keeping; to commit, entrust. 2. To present as worthy of favourable acceptance, regard, consideration, attention, or notice; to direct attention to, as worthy of notice or regard; to RECOMMEND. 3. a. gen. To mention as worthy of acceptance or approval, to express approbation of, praise, extol. 5. Commendation n. – 1. Giving in charge, entrusting, committal. 2. The expression of approval, recommendation. 3. Recommendation of a person to the favourable notice or attention of another. Also in letter of commendation. 6. Recommend v. – 1. a. To commend or commit (oneself or another, one’s soul or spirit to God, his keeping, etc. 3. To praise, commend: a. a person. 5. a. To mention or introduce (a thing) with approbation or commendation to a person, in order to induce acceptance or trial. 7. Recommendation n. – 1. The action of recommending oneself to another’s remembrance; a message of this nature. 3. Commendation, favour, repute, esteem. 4. The action of recommending a person or thing as worthy or desirable. Also, that which is recommended; a proposal or suggestion. 8. Praise n. – 1. a. The action or fact of praising; the expression in speech of estimation or honour; commendation of the worth or excellence of a person or thing; eulogy; laud, laudation. 9. Praise v. – II. 3. a. To tell, proclaim, or commend the worth, excellence, or merits of; to express warm approbation of, speak highly of; to laud, extol. (The leading current sense.) III. It is not necessarily wrong to receive the approval, commendation, or praise of men. 1. If you have served Christ in a way which is acceptable with God, and men approve of you for it, then that is fine (Rom 14:18). 2. Paul decided who to send to transport the gifts of the church of Corinth to Jerusalem based on the written approval of the Corinthians (1Co 16:3). A. In other words, Paul requested letters of recommendation from the church in Corinth giving their approval of certain men to transport the gifts. B. I have requested people to write letters of recommendation for me, and I have also written them for others who requested them. 3. Being commended or praised for being good or doing well is a good thing. A. Let another man praise thee; don’t refuse it (Pro 27:2). B. But always prove the praise to see if it’s valid (Pro 27:21). 4. However, receiving men’s approval doesn’t necessarily mean that one is right in the eyes of God (Psa 49:13, 18; Luk 6:26; Luk 16:15; Joh 15:19). 5. It just depends on who is praising you, what they are praising you for, and why they are praising you. IV. It is good to commend people or their work to others when it is deserved. 1. Paul chose Silas to travel with him on his evangelist trip at least in part because the brethren recommended him unto the grace of God (Act 15:40). 2. Paul commended Phebe to the saints in Rome, praising her, and asking them to receive her (Rom 16:1-2). 3. In other words, Paul wrote a letter of commendation for Phebe to the Romans. V. The desire to be approved of and praised 1. It is natural to desire to be approved of, commended, and praised by others. 2. The desire is natural, but how you react to it is what can get you into trouble. 3. When a man thinks that his work is worthy of being commended by others, and they fail to do so, he will be tempted, or even feel compelled, to boast of it himself (2Co 12:11). 4. Having a longing to be commended by others is a natural human desire, but we must never let that desire cause us to commend ourselves or our work to others, nor to become resentful of those who don’t commend us or our work. 5. This is something we must all guard against. VI. Not getting the praise and approval from parents we long for 1. This is the driving force in many people’s lives which makes them constantly strive to be recognized and praised. 2. Parents, do not withhold praise from your children when they do well. A. God praises His children when they do well (Mat 25:20-21). i. God praises His children when they do the best they can with what they have been given, even if they don’t produce as good of results as others (Mat 25:22-23). ii. If God praises His children for doing well, it is therefore good for parents to do the same to their children. B. Rulers are supposed to praise people for doing good (Rom 13:3) and well (1Pe 2:14). C. Paul praised the church of Corinth because they remembered his teaching and kept the ordinances as he delivered them (1Co 11:2). i. They were like children to him (1Co 4:14-15). ii. Paul praised them despite the fact that they were far from perfect (read the rest of the epistle). iii. Parents should likewise praise their children when they do well, even if they do not always do well. a. A child can be a good child even if he is not always good. b. A parent can be a good parent even if he is not always good. c. Don’t feel like you can’t tell someone he has done well just because he is not perfect or has flaws. D. If fathers do not give their sons approval and praise, they will spend the rest of their lives trying to impress others to get the approval of their fathers. E. Parents, and especially fathers, can damage their children for life by being overly critical of them, or never praising them or showing their approval. F. Everything in moderation though. i. You can praise your children too much. ii. Such children will grow up with a big ego and will be puffed up and full of themselves. iii. Some parents praise their children too much to other people. iv. This is usually an indirect way of praising themselves. a. They reason that if their child is smart, successful, athletic, or wealthy that that make them those things. b. Praising one’s children to others is a way to attempt to live vicariously through them. G. Be sure to praise good character, diligence, and godly behavior, rather than inborn traits such as beauty and physical characteristics (Pro 31:28-30). H. A child should be commended according to his wisdom (Pro 12:8), far more than for his athletic abilities or even his academic success. I. Bad behavior should not be praised (1Co 11:17, 22). VII. We should try to remember to praise and compliment people when they do good work. 1. We should approve things that are excellent (Php 1:10). A. We should not approve nor praise things which are not good. B. Charity rejoices in the truth, not in error or iniquity (1Co 13:6). C. If someone has accomplished something that he or she should not have done, I cannot commend him or her for it, no matter how much work was involved. 2. Praising good work does not mean flattering them (Pro 26:28; Pro 29:5; 1Th 2:5). A. Flattery n. - 1. The action or practice of flattering; false or insincere praise; adulation; cajolery, blandishment. B. Flatter v. – 1. a. intr. Of an animal, bird, etc.: To show delight or fondness (by wagging the tail, making a caressing sound, etc.). 2. To try to please or win the favour of (a person) by obsequious speech or conduct; to court, fawn upon. 3. To praise or compliment unduly or insincerely. C. We must steer between the errors of flattery and withholding praise and commendation from someone to whom it is due. 3. Never let envy, jealousy, or pride keep you from praising the good work of someone else (1Sa 18:7-9; Pro 14:30; Pro 27:4; Ecc 4:4; Gal 5:26; Jam 4:5-6). A. Envy v. – 1. trans. To feel displeasure and ill-will at the superiority of (another person) in happiness, success, reputation, or the possession of anything desirable; to regard with discontent another's possession of (some superior advantage which one would like to have for oneself). Also in less unfavourable sense: To wish oneself on a level with (another) in happiness or in the possession of something desirable; to wish oneself possessed of (something which another has). B. Envy n. - 1. Malignant or hostile feeling; ill-will, malice, enmity. Obs. 3. The feeling of mortification and ill-will occasioned by the contemplation of superior advantages possessed by another. Const. at, of, to, upon (persons), at, of (things). Phrases, to feel (have) envy. C. Having a high opinion of oneself (pride) and feeling displeasure or ill-will at the success of another (envy) is what stops men from praising and commending others when they do well. D. Proud or envious people will usually have no problem praising certain people, but not others. i. They will praise men who are clearly superior to them and out of their league because they pose no real threat to them. ii. They will also praise men who are clearly inferior to them because they are likewise pose no threat or competition to them. iii. But they will not praise men who are close to their equal because they are a perceived rival to them. 4. Rejoice with them that do rejoice and be happy for those who experience success (Rom 12:15; Luk 1:58; Luk 15:6, 9; 1Co 12:26).
Attachment Size
Approval, Commendation, and Praise of Men (Part 1), 4-28-24.mp3 40.3 MB
approval-and-praise-of-men-image.jpg 61.4 kB
Approval, Commendation, and Praise of Men.doc 57.3 kB
Approval, Commendation, and Praise of Men.pdf 445.1 kB