The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.
We've discussed refining of precious metals before. There have been verses that have caused us to examine the refining process, and to draw some applications for our lives. This verse is a little different --- we are "tested" by the praise we receive.
In a nutshell, the way that we respond to praise will reveal our character, just as a refining pot or furnace reveals the nature and purity of silver and gold. There are many examples in the Bible of people receiving praise, and their responses to it . . . look at I Samuel 18 when you have the time. In that passage, praise brought out the best in David, but the worst in Saul.
By ourselves, we are totally inadequate for the tasks set before us -- sinful and helpless. However, (and this is a BIG however) because we are created in God's image, and because we have accepted the gift of salvation from His Son, we have great worth. Since God created us, and then redeemed us, our whole existence and our righteousness are completely dependent upon Him.
Biblical humility, then, is recognizing that our great worth is none of our doing --- it is the work that Christ has done (and is doing) in us!
There are so many ways to give and to receive praise . . . we can give praise personally -- face to face, or we can send it in writing -- real paper or electronic message. We can even give it indirectly, like when we talk to someone and tell them about a nice thing a shared friend has done.
Whether we are praising their performance, or their character, it is such a positive thing to do. There are three by-words that are important here --- praise needs to be:
Let's be specific in our praise, too. Say exactly what that person did, that impressed you. Or thank them for a specific action, and the way it impacted your life in a positive way.
Lastly, be sincere. Don't gush or seem "over the top," but use words that express your sincere admiration or your gratitude. Let the person know that they are truly appreciated.
I hope you'll let me know in the comments if you have something to add to our study today. It's always good to let others know what you are thinking --- join in the discussion!