Considering Admiration!

Considering Admiration!

Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. Proverbs 6:5-8 NIV

We often choose people we set on a pedestal–those we greatly admire and then when their imperfections and flaws are exposed, we get angry and sometimes, we rebel by interjecting venom that poisons us and all around us.

Not all of us can be right at the same time in the same place, but we can be righteous in all we do. If we only do what is right–at all times–we never have to consider what happens if we do something wrong because we won’t. Sound complicated? We live complex lives and throughout our journey, we make decisions based upon the information and experiences we have at hand. If our experiences and our information is limited, our views may seem a bit short-sighted, but when we broaden our experiences and gain greater access to information, the likelihood that our views will change are incredible.

For instance, when we were in kindergarten and learned all we needed to know about life–the experience was limited and the information provided was at a level that our undeveloped minds could handle. We thought recess was the greatest part of the day and for some, it was the storytelling hour. Every person in the class came away with different perceptions of what kindergarten was about, but we learned: to share, wait our turns, be respectful, and to move to the right when traveling–walking down a hall or driving. And many of us learned to be considerate and most of us–had a great deal of admiration forĀ  our teacher. Unless the teacher did something really wrong–we admired them and remembered.

As we navigated middle school and high school and college–we discovered there was so much more to learning and being in a classroom that we began to think (and not just swallow everything told to us) and eventually–our views about things we learned in kindergarten changed. It’s called–maturing–and it’s a part of life that most of us enjoy.

But then there are those who–though past the age of 50–still act like they are still in kindergarten. The saddest part of all is there are people who admire–the kindergarten mentality which makes one wonder–if the admirer–ever matured. And it is these people who concern me and how they evaluate admirable qualities in a person.

So, when we express admiration for a person or an ideology–perhaps we should consider the source of our admiration and evaluate our own maturity if we admire others who are immature and act as though they are still in kindergarten.

The ant–a tiny creature with a tiny brain, but obviously smarter than those of us with a larger capacity to think, evaluate, and assess and we don’t. What exactly is there to admire about a non-thinking person? Absolutely nothing–unless we happen to be an ant. Let’s choose to admire Jesus and become more like Him!

 

Let Someone Else Tell It!

“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth.” (Proverbs 27:2 NIV)

If we’re going to boast about anything, it should be about our relationship with God, for it is our relationship with Him that prompts our success.

Sometimes, when we read passages of scripture, we get things twisted when we attempt to justify the world’s way of doing things and not doing them God’s way. Whenever we have success in anything, the first thing we should acknowledge is that it wasn’t because of us and the “I” we use to brag should be “He” since it is all about Him.

I am so thankful for Holy Spirit inspiration in the books I’ve written that He always gets the credit. Some call this foolish, but I know from where the ideas came and how they came together. It is not because of anything I know–for most of which I write about–I didn’t know–until He revealed it. Then there are those who call my reluctance to boast about self–false humility or false pride. There is nothing false about my giving God glory over all He does in my life. I know there are some who think everything they accomplish is because of them and not Him. If that’s the way they want to think–that’s on them. I choose to give God glory because I know, He’ll keep speaking to my heart, inspiring other works for people to enjoy.

But what’s more important is that others boast or brag about what we’ve accomplished, and not us. There is nothing sadder than listening to someone constantly talking about what “they’ve done.” Even with my classes, I stopped discussing my achievements as part of my introduction of who I am and decided to have my students discover who I am and what I’ve accomplished. Then, they write a paragraph summarizing what they discover. When we hold discussions about their discovery, it sounds so much better to hear it from them, than it would have from me.

I have found that to be true–at least for me–for other people as well. I can better appreciate a person’s accomplishments when someone else is telling it. When they tell it–even though most think there’s nothing wrong with their bragging–it sounds like a person who is needy of attention. When someone else tells it–it sounds like real appreciation and admiration for what has been accomplished.

Now, when we give God the praise for what He’s doing in our lives–I don’t necessarily see that as bragging on us, but rather Him. I know some will disagree, but I’ve reached a stage in my life where I know, I’m not needy for attention. If someone remarks on my achievements great, if not great. God knows and He’s the only one who can lift me beyond my own ability and let me shine in His glory!

So, before we get so high-minded in seeking the admiration of others that we tell it all–let’s allow someone else to tell it–how good and wonderful is our awesome God that He opens doors no man can shut and shuts doors, no man can open. Hallelujah, Jesus!