Monday, August 27, 2012

Living life not for human praise, but for God's glory (John 12:43) with a valuable lesson from the Duke of Wellington.

SCRIPTURE: John 12:43 (TM)
When push came to shove they cared more for human approval than for God's glory.

The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, then replied. "I'd give more praise," he said.

Shallow. Empty. Meaningless. If praise comes from our fellow human does come with the best of intentions. When praise does come we too often fail to hear it or receive it … or even worse, we simply discount it as in: “What a great dress (tie, shirt), etc.” “Oh, this old thing.” We each know the standard routine.

Sometimes we even shutdown, stop what we are doing, move to another situation, resign, get angry if praise is not received ... or a thank you ... or an atta-boy. We want it. We anticipate it. And as one former member stated: “This is why we do what we do for the Kingdom of God … to get the praise and recognition from our fellow journeyers. Was Norma Jean correct? She probably was closer to the truth than those of us who declare that we don’t want, desire or expect praise from others.

The Duke of Wellington discovered a great human truth. We should give more praise as we journey through this life less people begin to think that we take them for granted. And yet, while the praise and gratitude from others is important to our emotional health it is the approval of God that truly matters.

“Play to an audience of one” is wise counsel. The audience of one … is God. If we live out our life for him than when other praises come, and they will, that is an extra blessing.

Our life is a testimony of our love for you, gracious God. We live for you, because of you and unto you. Nothing else really matters. To you all the glory is given. 

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