“We were not looking for praise from men.”
1 Thessalonians 2:6
Cravings strike us all from time to time. Common wisdom reports that pregnant ladies send their bewildered husbands out for pickles and ice cream at the midnight hour. They have a craving that needs to be satisfied. Some people crave chocolate, others coffee. One lady who moved to another country for a time found herself with great cravings for peaches and cottage cheese; these items were simply not available where she was living.
Nearly every person has another craving—the craving for praise. We love to hear good things said about us. We all appreciate words of encouragement. The Bible is very clear that we are to encourage one another. This is the responsibility of believers to their brothers and sisters in Christ. However, it is not the responsibility of a believer to seek this praise from others. In fact there is a snare that lies hidden in our craving for praise. If we live our lives seeking the praise of people, we will become enslaved to their approval. We will be living with as many bosses over our lives as people from whom we desire praise. It’s a horrible way to live. It’s a life of enslavement.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that there is a day when our craving for praise will be legitimately satisfied. It will come at the judgment seat of Christ, where we will receive our praise from God. Then our craving can be truly fulfilled. In fact, living for praise on that day releases us from the tyranny of seeking the praise of people in this life. Our craving for praise is not wrong, but we seek to satisfy it at the wrong time and place.
Step into the freedom of seeking one master’s praise. Surrender your desire for the praise of people. Live for the audience of one. Make your one master the loving Lord Jesus Christ. Let his praise be your guiding passion, and enjoy the rest he brings to your soul.
Prayer Starter: Lord, grant me the freedom that comes from a heart that seeks your praise alone.
About the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.” Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book “Refresh“. Lyndon wrote “Refresh“ specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.