Praise Danger April 2017
Recently something very good happened in my life. One may think that I had a lot to do with creating this fortunate thing, but I am clear that it was the Holy and Blessed One that did it. Nevertheless, people praised me for what I had done.
When Jesus fed the 5,000 men and their families, it was likely that those around Him were praising what He had done. As the Messiah, He could have stayed there and bathed in the glorious acclaim they would have given. Instead he moved on to the next town. As I recall all these things he did miraculously, He always left the scene quickly. Sleeping in a boat while crossing the sea was just a convenience to shorten His time of rest and lengthen his time of ministry.
Jesus showed us that accepting praise from mankind is a waste of time. It can feel very good, perhaps too good. His ministry would have been much smaller if he had stayed over each time to receive the applause of those who witnessed His miraculous deeds.
The pastors of mega churches may face this danger. “Pastor I love your sermons. They inspire me!” So when they hit a membership of 9,000 they might think, “Look what I have done.” Actually God intended them to grow way beyond that, but because the praise flows in, they begin to relax in their accomplishments. It can be the same for a Pastor of 300, too.
The finest test of a successful business is the boss’s ability to leave for a month, and things don’t fall apart. The finest test of a life well lived is that the departure of the one who lived it has a legacy that remains for generations. If one ignores the praises, and the dangers which they present, that person will keep moving and accomplish even more. In the long run there is only one praise that matters, “Well done good and faithful servant,” said the Holy and Blessed One.