Psalm 27:1 “… Man is tested by the praise he receives.”
Response and feedback whether positive or negative will test your character. This blog is not to teach you how to fake humility by responding the correct way according to what society deems to be appropriate, but rather for you to allow criticism and praise to test you in your character. This proverb does not say ” man can be tested by the praise he receives.” No….. It says, “man is tested by the praise he receives.” That means every time you receive praise, you are being tested whether you want to be or not. Yikes! Have you ever shown up to class and realized there was a test that day in which you were not prepared for? Your classmate leans over and says, “are you ready?” You response, “ready for what?” This is never a good place to be in school. This is also never a good place to be in your relationship with Christ. Don’t be that person that is oblivious to the testing God is doing around you. So why is your character being tested when you receive praise? Because this is one of the few times where impulsive thoughts will go across your mind and you will reveal emotions in you that you did not know existed. Have you ever been there? I am always surprised at my reactions when someone tells me, “Glen, that wouldn’t have happened without you.” Or “you are doing a great job!”. Do you know what I am talking about?
So…. How do we pass the test? What does passing the test even look like? What should we look for in these moments of testing?
Look for pride to rise in your spirit. Pride is putting too much attention on self. Remember you are dead to your old self and your old ego. When someone gives you an accolade, allow it to encourage you and the mission of Christ in you, and point the praise to Jesus. But don’t be self-righteous about it and choose to ignore the obvious. For instance, if you lead worship in a gathering and someone comes up to you and tells you that you did a great job, don’t ignorantly respond with “brother… Jesus did it all.” As if you we’re a mime on stage and he moved your lips. No! You worked hard to prepare for that gathering and you being recognized for it is not only good, but biblical (Romans 13:7). It’s OK to receive recognition but not OK to receive praise. Praise and adoration belong to Jesus.
Let me be clear. How do we pass the praise test? It’s simple.. humbly keep recognition and relentlessly pass on all the praise and glory to Jesus (revelation 4:11).
Like I said in the beginning, this is not a blog on how to say the correct things on the external, but rather a blog on checking your internal character and heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you and grow you to become more like Jesus, not just on the external, but more importantly, on the internal. Don’t be that guy that shows up to class asking, “what test is everybody talking about?” Pass the praise test and allow God to work in your heart and character.