Proverbs 27: King James Bible
Praising Yourself – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty seven, Verse 2
2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
Daily Inspiration from This Verse – Praising Yourself
Not long ago in a previous devotional, we discussed a verse that had a similar idea to this one. It is called “Be Lifted,” if you’d like to have a look.
After reading this verse about praising yourself, I’m reminded of someone I knew rather well that I used to work with. He was the embodiment of self praise. But not just himself, but everything he had needed to be better than what other people had.
Have you ever known the type? Anything you can do, he can do better. Anything you may have, his is better, and if it isn’t, he’ll go out and get one that is! The guy was friendly, and would give you the shirt off his back, and wasn’t the type to be out to hurt anyone, just the opposite really.
But that didn’t matter to anyone who didn’t really “know” him. All people would talk about if he were to be mentioned, is his eye-rolling self praise. Or sarcastically talking about how much better his stuff is.
In other words, what he might have had in mind by praising himself with his own lips, didn’t work. All it really did was irritate people who’d be listening. Tons of people wouldn’t get past that particular impression of him, and see what rested beyond that behavior. Which is a shame cause like I said, he really was a good guy.
Self promotion is a strange thing, even if the intentions are just and what is coming out of your mouth is the truth, promoting yourself for a good reason can quickly turn into praising yourself if the heart isn’t right. There’s a line that is easily crossed, where it can go from telling the truth about yourself such as you would in an application or an interview for example, to something that does more than just give an account of your abilities or experiences.
The line is crossed when you go from giving an account to patting yourself on the back, in hopes that others do as well. Giving an account and praising yourself are two different things, even though both can transpire whilst using the exact same words. It’s not so much what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it and why.
We are what we are, and when we try to convince people that we are more than what we are by way of the mouth, then we’re treading on shaky ground. I would suggest that this is an area where deeds are far more important than talk.
Let’s take the Lord as our ultimate example. I’ve had many a debate in the past with Muslims about the divinity of Christ. They all tend to go by the same playbook, saying things like: “If Jesus was God in the flesh, then why didn’t he tell everyone he was God? Why didn’t he just say so?”
That’s a two fold answer. First off, he actually did say so in not all that obvious ways, and I’d tell them where they could find it, but they would reject those gospels (probably for that reason). Secondly (and more importantly), he never had to say so.
His actions tell us the tale of who he was, is, and will continue to be. If you see a man pick up a car and toss it aside, does he really need to boast to everyone about how strong he is? If you see someone walking up a pier with a large fish, does he need to tell everyone about how good of a fisherman he is? No on all counts.
The proof is in the pudding, not in the talk about the pudding. Jesus did works and deeds that proved himself to be who the Holy Ghost revealed to Peter he truly is. God in the flesh, the Lamb of God, the Christ, and our risen Messiah.
We should all follow his example and let our words be few when it comes down to ourselves, and do the works that are placed before us. People will naturally notice what you do and don’t do, just because you might not be aware of that, doesn’t mean that nobody’s looking and thinking better of you for it.
And if nobody does, the Lord sees it, and will lift you up in due time as he sees fit. And praise him for it!
Related New Testament Scripture
Matthew 23: King James Bible
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Luke 1: King James Bible
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
John 12: King James Bible
42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. 44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
Titus 3: King James Bible
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
1 Peter 5: King James Bible
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Thank you yet again for the blessing of your Word and your lessons. Help us not to build ourselves up in talk. Help us to do whatever you will by not only words, but by power and demonstration. Teach us to handle whatever situation comes our way, and may we be seen by all men as righteous examples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not as examples of the wicked in this world. Not puffing ourselves up, but waiting on you to lift us up. Thank you Father! In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever experienced praise that comes naturally by doing something well, rather than by trying to achieve the same by praising yourself?