So is a Man to His Praise Prov 27:21 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Prov 27:21 says, “As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.” This proverb is excellent in that it reveals one basis for judging a man’s character. You find out a lot about a man based on how he handles praise.
Wise men disregard praise; weak men are inflated by it. Praise given appropriately improves a man when it encourages him to do better. However, if he is a people pleaser, he will work himself to death to please you as long as you praise him. Yet if you ever rebuke him or quit praising him you might destroy him altogether.
President Truman made this observation of men who wanted to be president. He said that when men began to praise a candidate, if the candidate believed the praise, he believed that he could do a better job than the man in the office. He believed it not because he could actually do a better job but because of the praise. When a man like this succeeded in winning the office, he always turned out to be a pitiful politician because he was never worthy of the praise that motivated him to seek the office.
You need to be exceedingly careful about seeking and believing praise. Because of the praise of men, you will:
Kick God off His throne – 2 Sam 14:25; 15:1-6 – Absalom attempted to overthrow King David – when men start praising you, you get puffed up and suddenly your life or your ministry is about you and no longer for the glory of God – if you go to Houston, my friends tell me that when you pass by Joel Osteen’s church, the side of the building simply says, “Joel” – that ministry is not about the Lord it is about the man – the Lord is supposed to be the Lord of your life but when you seek and respond to the praise of men, you will kick God off the throne – scholars have been elevated above the Holy Spirit when it comes to Bible interpretation because of praise – ministers have been elevated above the Lord Jesus Christ and his words because of praise – musicians have been elevated above God because of praise – isn’t that what they call the service now – praise and worship – guess who is getting the praise – men and women!!
Refuse to confess Christ – Jn 12:42-43 – the chief rulers who believed on Jesus would not confess him for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue – so they kept quite – they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God – how many times have you thought about witnessing to a friend or co-worker but you refused because you liked their praise – or conversely you were afraid that they might start saying something about you behind your back – you can be sure that they will do that – just listen to what they say about Jesus and about God – but because you like their praise or the fact that they don’t say bad things about you, you won’t confess Jesus – the praise of men is a major underlying motive for “lifestyle evangelism” – men are afraid to say anything about Jesus.
Neglect to receive Jesus – Rom 2:28-29 – Jews prided themselves on their outward appearance and on their acceptance among their peers based on their outward manifestations of adherence to their religion – this kind of behavior earned them the praise of men which was very gratifying and elevating as far as their religion was concerned – but Paul said that a real Jew [in the New Testament sense] is one who is a Jew inwardly in the spirit – for that to be true, he must be saved by Jesus Christ – but the trouble is that when Jews got saved, they were ridiculed and persecuted by their former religious associates and they were no longer praised – of course, God would praise them according to these verses – but when they valued the praise of men they would neglect Jesus – this is the same reason that men who are in religions today are scared to death to get saved – they fear the ridicule!!
Conclusion: Many men are people pleasers, they seek the praise of men – but you better remember what Solomon said, “so is a man to his praise” – the praise of men can ruin you – it ruins most men because they cannot handle it – if you have let the praise of men inflate you and kick God off the throne, you need a good kick in the seat of your pants that will drive you face first to the feet of Jesus in humility – if you have let the praise of men scare you into hiding the fact that you are a Christian [that’s what most Lifestyle evangelism is in reality] then you need to get over yourself and quit believing what your friends are saying about you – you are not better than Jesus – so tell them the truth about him – and if you have let the praise of men keep you from getting saved, then you just need to remember how little praise these folks are going to be able to give you when y’all are screaming in the torments of the fires of hell – their praise will be meaningless as you all realize how foolish you were to pass up Christ. He died for you and was ridiculed and rejected for you. The least you can do is receive him.