Approval, Commendation, and Praise of Men (Part 2)


Approval, Commendation, and Praise of Men (Part 2) VIII. Seeking commendation from men 1. Always ask yourself why you are doing something. A. Examine your own heart and motives (2Co 13:5; 1Co 11:28; Lam 3:40). i. Ask God to examine you and show you what your motives are for doing a particular thing (Psa 26:2; Psa 139:23-24; Job 6:24). ii. Seek to understand your own way (Pro 14:8). iii. Be honest with yourself, and don’t deceive yourself (Jer 17:9; 1Co 3:18). B. If you are doing something to get the praise and approval of men, don’t. i. The thing you’re doing might be good or bad, depending on your motives. ii. If you realize that your motivation is to get the praise of men, change your motivation. C. Pray that God will create in you a clean heart and renew a right spirit within you (Psa 51:10). 2. Our good works should not be done to be seen of men. A. In fact, we should try to make it so that they are not seen of men (Mat 6:1-3, 5, 16). i. Many people give to charity so that they will be seen and praised by men. ii. When you give to a person or cause online, check the box to remain anonymous. iii. If you give to something on Facebook, make sure that your donation is not shared on your feed. B. If we do our good works for God in secret, He will reward us openly if and when He chooses to (Mat 6:4, 6, 17-18). IX. Pride is the root of seeking praise and approval of men. 1. When people do not get the attention, recognition, approval, commendation, or praise they desire or think they are entitled to, they will start to boast of their achievements. A. This is done because they have a high opinion of themselves, which is pride. B. Pride n. – B. The quality of being proud. I. 1. a. A high or overweening opinion of one's own qualities, attainments, or estate, which gives rise to a feeling and attitude of superiority over and contempt for others; inordinate self-esteem. 2. We should not commend and praise ourselves (2Co 3:1; 2Co 10:12; Pro 27:2). A. Let your work speak for itself (2Co 3:1-2; Pro 31:31). B. Don’t promote your own work, but rather wait and let others praise it (Est 6:2-3, 10-11). C. Honoring oneself is worthless (Joh 8:54). D. Searching one’s own glory is not glorious (Pro 25:27). E. A faithful man does not proclaim his own goodness (Pro 20:6). 3. He that commends himself is not approved by God, but only he who is commended by God (2Co 10:18). 4. Commending oneself or one’s own work almost always has the opposite of its intended effect on others. X. Practical tip 1. If you’re in business selling goods or services, or producing content (books, blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.), do not try to get friends or family to buy what you’re selling or consume what you produce. 2. This will surely cause you disappointment when they don’t care about what you have produced (Mat 13:57). 3. Focus on the people (almost always strangers) who will be your natural customers or audience. 4. It’s okay to tell your friends and family what you are doing, but don’t expect them to buy what you’re selling, or to read, watch, or listen to what you produce. 5. Do your family and friends a favor and support them in their work and endeavors. It will mean the world to them. XI. Seek only God’s praise and approval. 1. This is the solution. 2. We should not seek honor from other men, but the honor that comes from God only (Joh 5:44). 3. Only whom the Lord commends is approved (2Co 10:18). 4. Jesus was a man approved of God (Act 2:22; Mat 3:17). A. If Jesus would have sought the approval and praise of men, He would not have spoken the words that God gave Him to speak (Joh 12:50). B. He would then not have been approved of God. 5. Apelles was “approved in Christ” (Rom 16:10). A. We don’t know what Apelles did to be approved in Christ. B. And that’s the point! We don’t need to. C. God knows what he did, and that’s all that matters. 6. Study to show thyself approved unto God (2Ti 2:15). A. If you do this, your profiting will appear to all (1Ti 4:15). B. When a heresy comes, and you are not carried away with it, you will show that you are approved by God (1Co 11:19). 7. Ministers approve themselves, not by boasting of their work and accomplishments, but by… A. suffering patiently (2Co 6:4-5) B. keeping themselves pure (2Co 6:6a; 1Ti 5:22) C. acquiring the knowledge of God through diligent study (2Co 6:6b; Pro 2:1-6) D. being kind and displaying unfeigned love (2Co 6:6c) E. holding fast the faithful word of truth (2Co 6:7; Tit 1:9) F. and by maintaining a righteous life (2Co 6:7). 8. Churches show that they are approved of God, not by how much growth they experience, but by the discipline they maintain among their membership (2Co 7:11). 9. If we love the praise of men more than the praise of God, we will disobey God to please men (Joh 12:42-43). 10. A true Jew has praise of God and not men (Rom 2:29). 11. God’s praise might not come immediately, but it will come eventually (1Co 4:5). A. If we endure the trial of our faith faithfully, we will be praised and honored at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:7). B. Seek to hear “well done thou good and faithful servant” (Mat 25:21). C. That’s all that matters.
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