"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth," says Proverbs 27:2, "a stranger, and not your own lips." A friend once approached a singer after a service, complimenting her on her solo, but she refused to allow it. "Oh no," she protested, "it was all God, not me." To which my friend replied, "Surprising, I think God would have reached the high notes." That was mean, I thought. Then I reconsidered; he was right. Why didn't she simply say "thank you"? It wasn't God singing, it was her. The proverb says first, "Let others praise you."
Then it says, "not your own mouth." Mohammed Ali was seated in an airplane and the flight attendant asked him to put on his seatbelt. "Superman don't need no seatbelt," said Ali. "Superman don't need no plane," responded the attendant. The apostle Paul instructed everyone not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think (Romans 12:3). Mohammed Ali ain't Superman. But then Paul continued, "think with sober judgment." Think rightly. When you are praised, it is okay to acknowledge the partnership you have with God. God asks, "Who will?"; you say, "I will." He gives you talents and gifts, you develop them. Someone says, "Good job"; you respond, "Thank you."
"The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise. ~Proverbs 27:21
How we handle praise is as good a test of character as how we handle criticism.
My God, the silliest notion I have is that I am good enough on my own; that when all is said and done, I can inventory my life and say, "Open the gates of heaven and let me in." I need You to save me, and You did. I now live because of You and for You, and I commit to throw off everything that distracts or gets in the way.
Keep my heart open to Your glory. Help me do what is right, what is good. May my life reflect Your glory and point others to Your grace.