Athlete, There are Two Things We All Want

There are Two Things We All Want

44  “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”

John 5:44 (ESV)

Two things we all want are praise and validation. The trick is to get those things the right way. Jesus gives us three great clues.

DON'T CREATE YOUR OWN PRAISE: No fishing for compliments. It's tempting, but not wise. Bragging about yourself backfires; it works against the praise you seek. Self-generated praise is not valid, just vain. Heed Jesus' words: "If I testify about Myself, My testimony is not valid" (John 5:31, Berean Study Bible).

DON'T ACCEPT THE PRAISE OF MEN: It makes you settle for less than the best. That kind of praise comes back to bite because it is consistently fickle and fleeting. It skews reality and becomes addicting. Heed Jesus' words instead: "I do not accept human praise" (John 5:41, International Standard Version).

SEEK VALIDATION FROM GOD: Seek His praise. Take aim at His approval above all. Expect the greater reward, God's reward. Get from Him, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:21, ESV).

Jesus clues us well because He's like the finest of coaches. He will not seek praise to validate Himself, only to praise and validate others along the way. Having His Heavenly Father's approval was, is, and always will be enough. O, may we function the same way.

Reflect: Are you better at generating praise for yourself or at building up others? Are you addicted to human approval, dependent more than you care to admit on people’s praise?

A prayer to consider: Sweet, strong Jesus, don't let me become easily satisfied with human praise. I want to obtain Your praise. Settle the approval war that's waged in me. Keep winning my heart, and make me like You. Amen.

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