Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;…. (Proverbs 27:2).
Yesterday, as I was enjoying time with family, I noticed sin kept creeping into my heart and mind. I had this desire to talk about myself and all the things I’m doing that I feel give me value and worth in the world’s eyes. I wanted people to draw their attention towards me and be impressed by my accomplishments, that in my eyes must have been fairly worthy of praise.
Recognizing this thought as purely selfish and prideful, I took it captive and let it die. Then, began to engage others in questions about their lives instead.
Truth be told, at the root of all of this is insecurity and pride. I see that underneath my desire to receive praise from others is really a misunderstanding of my worth, value and identity. We are not defined by what we do for God, truly, our identity comes in simply being HIs child. The people who are the most influential for Christ are not necessarily those who are “doing the most for God,” writing the most books, conducting the most podcasts or building the biggest church. They are those who have made it a priority in their lives to love others well with the life-changing love of Jesus. They are the people who have opened a door in their heart to let others in to see, taste and experience the love of God.
I think of people like my grandmother who has simply opened her heart in a way that draws people in. Her impact on the kingdom of God has brought about multiplication that is admirable, but she has very little to show for it in the natural realm. Yet, there are grandchildren and great-grandchildren who have been drawn to the love of Christ because she opened her heart and her life as a testimony to Jesus. There lies a spiritual heritage behind her of eternal significance. She has no business she’s built, no books she’s written, but she has something of greater worth than gold. She has an identity rooted in the love of God. She has a life that has been a testimony to Jesus that has inspired so many to walk in the same manner.
When you think about your own heart, do some examination. Seek to put the gifts of others on display and don’t operate, as I have out of an unhealthy need for man’s approval, be ok with simply being a child of God for that is where your greatest worth is found.
Lord, I love you. I know that my identity is not found in man’s praise, for truly, my greatest worth is in being your daughter. May my heart be so wide open that others would be drawn to the Savior that lives inside of me. You, Jesus, must become greater and I must become less, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.