“…because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.”-Saul, 1 Samuel 15:24
Samuel 15 is a window into Saul’s soul; we see his truest motivations. In this account we discover what motivates Saul, the praise of men. (1 Samuel 15:17,24) Saul loves the praise of men more than he loves the praise of God, so he skirted obeying God fully because it would have put him out of favor with the people. The irony is, the people clamored for a king to lead them, and now the king was being led by the people.
Here is a good question for us to ponder:
How do you know when you prefer the praise of men more than the praise of God? What are the signs?
Saul had convinced himself (and tried to convince Samuel) that he had obeyed God, and even planned to use the spoils for a “good” thing, a sacrifice to God. Do we ever do the same thing? I’m not sure if God delights in all the “good” things we do, if we fail to obey him in what he has commanded.
One thought on “Praise”
We all value rewards and recognition. Each of us has a desire to be loved, to be noticed and to be included. We, as human beings, enjoy the attention and being praised by other human beings, especially by those who share similar professional, cultural, social and economic values and foundation.
When we value outward appearances, social status and material things, we will find satisfaction among men and men’s approval is the source for our happiness. When we care about men’s acceptance, we will look for and focus on seeking for men’s approval. In contrast, when God is the source for our satisfaction, we will search for God’s approval in everything we do and for every decision we need to make.
God’s approval or men’s approval can be a deciding factor based on cultural, social, personal and professional environment and depends on our values and philosophy and where we are in our personal and professional life cycle, our needs, and spiritual foundation. Long-lasting peace will come when we seek for God’s approval. Confusion and chaos are likely the outcome when we seek for men’s acceptance and approval. How do you want to be loved is the question! Whose love is more important to you? God or men?
I have sought peace throughout my life so seeking God’s approval over men’s approval will be always my choice!