Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To Be Commended By God Alone

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes, "for it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends."

It is one of the most dire temptations we face as christians (let alone, citizens of this world): wanting to receive approval of man over and above the approval of our Father in heaven.

We too often see what praise "gives" to another person. Getting the attention and admiration of others, can land you in the White House, get you a better job, grant you more book sales, or make you popular. The desire for acceptance is a powerful drug and creates unwitting addicts.

Its side effects are real. Compromise. Lack of courage. Pride.

In Christ, we see One who primarily sought to please His Father, by his unashamed ability to confront sinners when others would have wilted - and love sinners would others would have hated. In Jesus, we find our ultimate example of one whom the Lord commended.

"Let us therefore, leaving off all other things, aim exclusively at this --- that we may be approved by God and may be satisfied to have His approbation alone, as it justly ought to be regarded by us as of more value than all the applauses of the whole world." John Calvin