Soul Snack 8/102 ... Chewing Gum!
Undivided attention greeted every glance. Many sat almost transfixed before him, 'consuming' every word, examining each movement. Marginally comfortable chairs, a sleepy warm afternoon, no impediment to this speaker's lyrical delivery. His oratory abilities simply very well received.
As the house lights brightened, he sat down. Still no one stirred, imbibing for a final fleeting moment an echo of eloquence they had so much enjoyed. The M.C. speaks, alertness returns, she invites the audience to movement.
Soon the speaker knew (from previous experience) that he would be pressed on every side, (or was it really a hope?). He bathed with delight in the M.C.s praise. Her compliments so superior to his spirit and soul than any fee could ever be. Inwardly he would savour the compliments far more than they relished his speaking. But, a speaker he was, a sage he wasn't!
God looks with a perfectly incisive interest on a man and how he pursues, permits and promotes praise. God pays undivided attention to both the source of praise and how it is received by a man.
God tests a man's heart by how he receives praise.
A man's character is revealed with equal precision before God, not only in difficult times, but also when things are well.
Praise is a two edged sword, it can both build a man and destroy a man. Praise retained is rich and fertile soil for pride.
Peter Jensen (the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney) wisely teaches:
'... praise is like chewing gum, take it in, chew on it and then spit it out.'