Reflection from Raluchukwu Onwuzuluigbo
Topic: Do not seek honor from Men.
It is understanding that a baby will go for less because they don’t understand value or worth. They are only interested in what appeals for their immediate gratification. For example, if you present to a baby a cube of diamond and a candy, surely, the baby will go for the candy. But you wouldn’t expect such from an adult, who has come of age and knows the worth of things. Unfortunately, we are like babes in religious matters, if we choose praise from men(immediate gratification with no eternal value) rather than from God(exceeding great reward which has eternal value).
Jesus warned seriously against such life style, when he taught saying, “make certain, you do not perform your religious duties in public so that people will see what you do and praise you, If you do these things publicly, you will not have any reward from your Father in heaven (Matthew 6:1). Unfortunately, many are tilted to seek praise and glory from fellow men and in such loose out from every reward from God.
Yet in another teaching, Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples to observe and flee from the lives of the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees of their time, who were the authorized interpreters of Moses’ Law. Saying, "they do everything so that people will see them. Look at the straps with scripture verses on them which they wear on their foreheads and arms, and notice how large they are! Notice also how long are the tassels on their cloaks!(Matthew 23:1-2, 5). The disciples and the crowds never knew that such seemingly minute issue like this can make God not give his approval on a man.
Jesus in another occasion, said to the Jewish authorities, “I am not looking for human praise. But I know what kind of people you are, and I know that you have no love for God in your hearts. You like to receive praise from one another, but you do not try to win praise from the one who alone is God; how, then, can you believe me?(John 5:41-44) In the same way,. Paul writing to the church in Thessalonica, said to them, we do not try to please people, but to please God, who tests our motives. We did not try to get praise from anyone, either from you or from others,(1 Thessalonians 2:1, 4, 6).
Who are you seeking to please? What is the motive behind your actions. God watches the heart of man. He knows our intent and motives, Let us then do our best as Paul advised Timothy to seek to win full approval in God’s sight, as a worker who is not ashamed of his work, one who correctly teaches the message of God’s truth.(2 Timothy 2:15).