Affirmation from the wrong people or places

There was a young boy who got C’s on his report card. His dad said that if he just worked harder, he could probably get B’s.

Time passed and the boy worked hard. He really wanted to impress his dad. He sooo wanted his affirmation and praise! The next report card came and, lo and behold, he got B’s!

But instead of congratulating his son, his father said that if he just worked a bit harder, he might be able to get A’s.

So the boy, still wanting his father’s affirmation, worked harder and harder. He did extra homework and put in the time. He made sacrifices. When the next report card came home—wow, he got A’s! But what did his dad do?

He looked at the report card and said, “You probably have an easy teacher.”

Sad, isn’t it?

In a similar way, if we seek our ultimate affirmation in anyone or anything other than God—in the judgments, opinions, or negative criticisms of others—we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.

After giving the temperamental Corinthians a semi-scolding in 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Paul says that God “will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” (v. 5).

In the end, we will receive our true affirmation and praise from God. If we seek our ultimate affirmation in anyone or anything other than God—like the boy with the report card—we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.

I know it can be tough, but don’t be too discouraged when others don’t see or understand your hard work, good intentions, or searching heart. God does. And one day, you will receive your praise and reward from him.

By Matthew Ruttan

–“A dummies guide to the bazillion translations of the Bible.” That’s my latest blog where I explain the 4 different kinds of translations and give some recommendations. Read it here. Enjoy!
THIS SUNDAY we continue the ‘Contentment’ series. Robber #3 tries to steal your sense of purpose. So, what’s to be done? Find out more on Sunday at Westminster Church in Barrie.
–A version of today’s story is told in, Neil T. Anderson and Timothy M. Warner, The Essential Guide to Spiritual Warfare, p. 118.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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