Last Tuesday, we took a look at our egos, and some signs our egos are getting in the way. You may call ego something like “pride” or “selfish ambition” from a Biblical perspective.
Here are some additional thoughts about our desire to get the credit, the praise and the approval.
We are complete in God through Jesus Christ, period (Colossians 2:10). If man’s praise, acceptance and approval have become our obsession, it is a sign that we are not truly and safely resting in the grace and shelter of God’s arms. Yes, it is great to have the acceptance and approval of others, but that must not be our end goal, because that is such an empty, vain and painful way to live. It will make others around you miserable, too. What are you and I lacking in our relationship with God that we seek to fill with the praise of others?
At a practical level…today:
- Pray for God to keep our big mouths shut. Enough said. Keeping it shut when we are right. Keeping it shut when someone tells us something we already know…aargh, this is tough.
- Do things around the house and for our wives without telling them we did it. Yikes, is this possible? Read Matthew 6:1-4, 16-21.
- Have a chat over coffee and in prayer with a wise godly man who can help you navigate these thoughts. Find a mature man who is comfortable in his own skin because of Jesus.
- Let’s do some meditation, prayer and study on the grace of God, and that in Him through Jesus Christ we are fully accepted. “The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.” If we never feel good enough, we will seek man’s praise, but if our sufficiency is truly from God, then one day man’s praise won’t be so attractive to us.
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
(2 Corinthians 3:1-6)