The Test of Praise
As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise. ~Proverbs 27:21
Most products go through extensive testing before they are confidently placed on the market for purchase. The manufacturer wants to be sure the product will perform well. In a similar way, we test candidates for certain jobs to ascertain their competency and capability to perform. Testing is essential to determine the character of a product or a person. This morning, we see how praise tests show what we really are. The reviews we are given, positive and negative, tell others what kind of character we are made of.
We see the recognition.
First, praise is a virtue that should be practiced. We should praise the Lord. God is worthy of our praise. The word “hallelujah” means to “praise the Lord”. God should be praised always. Second, praise is critically important in our encouragement of others. When someone does well, we encourage them by praising them for their accomplishment. It is important that we praise our spouses and our children. The esteem of our children is enhanced when we praise them. In fact, they remember the kind and encouraging things we commend them for. We must remember to always be complimentary and to praise people for what they do.
We see the resemblance.
“As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold...” Solomon uses the comparison of the metal refining process to help us understand a vital principle. Silver is refined when placed in a crucible and placed in intense heat to melt it from a solid ore to liquid metal. Gold is refined by placing it in a fiery furnace that is heated high enough to melt the gold into liquid. In both cases, the melting of the metal results in the impurities or dross rising to the top. The intense fire and heat reveal what is inside hidden from the eye. The purest gold and silver can only be produced after the impurities come to the surface.
We see the revelation.
“So is a man to his praise...” Praise reveals what a man really is. It reveals his pride and his humility. It reveals if has an ego that is supersize, or an ego that is dead to self. It reveals a lot about his character and what he values most. It reveals what he thinks about God and if he is quick to deflect any credit or glory given to him back to God. Praise, or the lack of it, test a man in his humility and service to God. It helps us in determining if the man is qualified in serving other people.
We see the recommendation.
“Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips...” Don’t be a Christian seeking to exalt yourself. If something good should be said about you, let others say it, and you keep silent. Don’t seek to exalt yourself, be self-commending, or a narcissist. Give God the glory for whatever opportunity he allows you to perform for him. Avoid boasting about your talents, your treasures, and your tomorrow’s. “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” We do not live for the praise of man, but for the glory of God.
Have a self-effacing God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Zechariah 8-14