The Itch to Be Praised

Michael Beck

“Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.” (Isaiah 3:16-24)

Who do you want to bring attention to? Christ or yourself? When we walk in the pride of life we want to be seen of men. The itch to be praised must be scratched by someone. We spend our time, energy, and resources making ourselves look good for the eyes of men. Their recognition of us is our reward. But Jesus told us that once we get their reward we get none from Him.

We cannot glorify God and ourselves. We must choose one or the other. Jesus was willing to be of no reputation in the eyes of men. What identity did He wear? A carpenter’s son. A servant. A transgressor. The Shepherd went before His sheep, seeking no glory from men, but wanting only to glorify His Father. And for this, the Father has exalted and glorified Him, seating Him at His own right hand in heaven.

Refuse the subtle temptation to shine before men that they might glorify you. Follow your Master – take the low road, and He will surely cause you to shine for eternity with a beauty that never fades.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.