Let another praise you, and not your own mouth- a stranger, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2 NRSV
Several people in the building where I work attended a recent retirement reception for a pastor we all know. The folks in the building have gone on and on about how the retiring pastor really "played it up" about himself, his family, his ministerial career and how much lavish celebrating (singing, speeches, pictures, etc.) went on during the afternoon. Obviously, they all thought it was too much yet very like the person retiring.
What I really want to tell them is: when I retire I'd like to do the same thing!
Let's be honest. Don't we all like to be recognized? Admired? Respected? Honored in public? I know I do, and I have a personality test to prove that this is part of my makeup. I am sure there is some psychological reasoning about this trait of mine. All I know is that I am trying to embrace this part of me.
Yet, here we have today's scripture that reminds us that it is fine to be praised....as long as you don't do your own praising. I take this to heart too much - when people try to praise me, I do my best to deflect their praise. Then I get hurt when folks don't seem to appreciate me "enough." I need to let others do the praising. Perhaps that is what folks around here were thinking about the retiring pastor, that he was praising himself. I don't know about that - I want to think that someone who knew him well planned that retirement celebration!
God, sometimes we like to be praised. Help us to receive praise graciously but not to be the ones praising ourselves. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims