LEADERS with a desperate need for success have found awards and honors a profitable way to MANIPULATE their followers. Dignified statesmen of the church have been shamelessly COMPROMISED for the sake of potential RECOGNITION.
Just as competition works only because of the drive for self EXALTATION, so the fires of our desire for HONOR are fueled by a trait different from the one that MOTIVATED Jesus. He “made himself of no reputation.” Our violations of His nature in the area of honors and recognition are so obvious that I choose only to call a few to our attention.
To hear the introductions given at Christian festivals and conventions is a painful experience in aggrandizement. Sorry to say this but I have to, the use of honorary degrees by Christian colleges to gain DONATIONS or other reciprocal benefits is a SCANDAL. Some college honor plans are devised to cash in on vanity and sell books to the honored recipient.
Some denominational public relations agents have as one of their job tasks to gain public honors for their denominational hierarchy.
How can we ignore the WARNINGS of scriptures and continue to use honors for manipulation and continue to clamor for them is a dangerously unanswered question. The teaching of Jesus is very clear about the things we do for the view of others:
“TAKE CARE not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven.
Thus, whenever you give to the poor, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets like to do, that they may be recognized and honored and praised by men. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already.” Matthew 6:1-2
Jesus invites us to SECRET GIVING and, a few sentences later, to SECRET PRAYING so that the Father is free to reward us openly. It must, however, be left to the Father to handle the REWARD, not to the hands of men.
We cannot rationalize, once we have become part of a self-honoring system, that it comes from the Father because the system honored us and not we ourselves. Paul the Apostle draws the demarcation line firmly in 2 Corinthians 10:17-18:
“However, let him who boasts and glories boast and glory in the Lord.
For [it is] not [the man] who praises and commends himself who is approved and accepted, but [it is the person] whom the Lord accredits and commends.”
Two instances in which Jesus was apparently given commendation do not provide adequate reason for our own systems of commendation. Luke 2:52 says “And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man.” However, these same people in whose favor He grew were the very ones who later scoffed at Him and rejected Him, causing Jesus to state a PROPHET was without HONOR except in his own country. In the triumphal entry passage of Matthew 21, the crowd that honored Him with the psalms and “hosannas” also called for His crucifixion later. The honors of men, no matter how obtained, are EMPTY and FICKLE.
The only PRIZE legitimate for us to seek, the only PRIZE that will not be brought low is the “…prize of the high CALLING of God in Christ Jesus, ” (Philippians 3:14 Amp). That “HIGH CALLING” is the call to SERVANTHOOD.🙏
Revivalist Samuel King



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