When I use my God given talents, such as singing and teaching, and then people praise and compliment me, how do I handle that? How do I remain humble knowing these gifts are totally from God, and squelch the prideful feelings that come with praise. It does feel good to my fleshly nature to hear compliments.
Hi Jill, it is ok to feel good, but always stay humble in heart; just acknowledge with a sincere smile, and reply by saying something of this nature ’ i thank God for His gifting to me’. Then give glory to God in your heart
i would pray for God to continue to nurture you from strength to strength.
Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
But how do we guard our heart?
- remember that you are unworthy of God’s love (Titus 3:3-8)
- pray/worship in secret (Matthew 6:6)
- ask God to search your heart (139:23)
- keep your identity rooted in Christ
Regarding dealing with the temptations of ministry success, I think Tim Keller is far more qualified to speak than myself. Here is a talk he gave to young people seeking to serve God on the temptations of ministry. He does an excellent job of discussing the temptation of finding your identity in your ministry rather than in Jesus and how to resolve that struggle.
May the Lord grant you both success and humility as you seek to serve Him in spirit and truth. I hope those thoughts were helpful.
Self-promotion or God-promotion?
Wow! I just watched Tim Keller’s talk. There is so much he said I had never heard or thought about before. Thank you! Now I’m going to listen again and take notes so that I can remind myself to not place my identity in the outward manifestations from my gifts, but only identify with Jesus in me. Thank you so much!!! The part about Judas being just like the other disciples on the outside really opened my eyes! Again thank you and God bless you and this ministry.
@jlacross Indeed - Keller is a wise man and I have learned much through him. He really does help you think about things at a deeper level and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. I often listen to his talks multiple times - they are so refreshing to the spirit and such good food for the mind! And I am thankful each day for @CarsonWeitnauer and Connect - what an amazing opportunity to encourage each other as we grow in our faith! The Lord grant you a heart of wisdom as you study. Blessings!!!
It does feel good to be complimented. Nothing wrong with feeling good – God gives us life in its abundance. God has given you talent. And, others, especially among the Body of Christ encourage, praise, laud, and uplift when those talents are a blessing to them and to others. When the source of the talent is known, and talent usage is exhibited in the pursuit of God’s intended purposes you should feel blessed and good about what you have done for the Body. But, if that praise becomes the reason the talent is being used, then the mark is missed. You are humble for even asking. Take heart the Lord loves you and loves that you use the talents he has granted for his kingdom, including your humility that we get to share in now and uplift each other with. God bless.
Thank you Scott. Your comments help me understand that the good feelings that come from praise are not wrong if I realize that it’s my gifts (from God) that are the blessing to others and not my own personal efforts. That’s a relief actually. Thanks!
Hey Sean, it just occurred to me that Billy Graham must have understood this on a very deep level and that is why he was able to remain humble! I always wondered how he did it.
@jlacross That is a great point. I have family members who were saved through Dr. Graham’s preaching - what an amazing man! He truly lived out Galatians 6:14 - “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world”. How beautiful the blood flow! How merciful the love shown!
Tim Keller has two good sermons on the two great tests in life - success and failure or prosperity / suffering. If you liked his other video on temptation in ministry I suspect you will like these - they go deeper into building our identity in such a way that we can maintain humility when exalted and maintain dignity when brought low.
Thank you! I look forward to hearing these!!