John 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

John 5:41 (Jesus said) I do not accept glory from men,

John 12:43 For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

Pricked by the Holy Spirit and convicted!

I don’t name drop.  I book-title drop. I’m here to fess up to a recent display of my pride. It happened at a mid-week prayer gathering at church.

Arriving a few minutes early, I strutted over to where our pastor was setting up chairs and struck up a conversation. Purposefully but casually, I mentioned having finished a book he had recommended from the pulpit.  Then, wanting to impress Joe with the quantity and rigor of my deep reading, I preened, just like a peacock. I unfolded for him a few of my favorite authors.

I remained blind to how blatantly I craved his praise until a certain church member arrived, one who likes to show off HER knowledge of learning. Suddenly God reminded me how I don’t like this gal for this very reason. I know, another sin! You can guess what followed next.

“You are the woman!” came a Holy-Spirit insight, recalling Nathan’s confrontation with King David. Shame filled my heart.

It’s been a few weeks and I have already confessed my lack of hunger for God’s praise and received His forgiveness.  But just this past Sunday, my co-teacher for middle school girls’ Sunday School praised me out loud to the gals present.  I piped up, “Suzanne, you don’t know me well enough, yet!” When she objected, I simply mentioned my pride which shows itself in boasting.

Now, to this morning. The first truth above in John 5:44 popped up in an old prayer that came up in my Prayermate app. This verse punched me in the gut, for Jesus calls craving the approval and praise from man – UNBELIEF!!

Does that seem harsh? Not to me. I simply felt sadness seeing my appetite for human recognition from God’s point of view – a subtle but ever-present hunger for public recognition.

I know that we believers mingle trust and unbelief in polluted and stained hearts. And that God is working all things, including one’s sin and contrition, for our good, for the purifying of these corrupt, world-focused desires.

Seeing my sin – my boasting, embarrassed me and I felt shame. I had displayed this ugly to my under-shepherd and pastor.

But I thank the Father that He is SO gentle with me. Yes, He rebukes me, but only to cause me to repent and desire to grow more holy, more like Jesus.  I recognize that in my own strength I can’t kill this lust for applause. I even lack the desire to put it to death. So, I join Paul in rejoicing:

But thanks be to God, for….. “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom 8:37