“Pride leads to destruction; a proud attitude brings ruin.” Proverbs 16:18 ncv
I stood in the front row and lifted my voice strong and loud. The last note like an explanation point to say “wasn’t that fantastic.” I beamed. The audience applauded. My fellow singers patted me on the back and showered me with accolades of praise.
My name is Merrie and I’m addicted to praise.
I was fourteen when the above musical scene took place and continued for another six years. The attention getting slap in the face came when I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Sit down and sing.”
“What? I am singing.” I sank into my seat among the sopranos of the small choir.
“It’s time you stop using the gift of singing I gave you for your own credit, and instead use it as I intended for My glory.” His voice was loud and clear in my heart.
My heart died—my identity died—but I sat down. Over the next couple of years, I grew to understand what I had done wrong. My singing changed from soloist to participant. I learned to sing for Him, about Him and to Him…and He gave me more.
“‘God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.’ So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you.”
James 4:6-7 ncv
The ugly side of my “Love Language”—words of affirmation—is self-esteem, and I don’t mean poor self-esteem, but rather the kind which esteems one’s self. I thrive on words of affirmation to confirm I’m doing a good job or am going in the right direction. Sadly, for too long, I allowed the compliments to exalt me rather than affirm and confirm the job I was doing.
Therefore, it is necessary for me to put the “words” given from others in the right place and not let them breed pride. I must remove the thoughts of glory from myself and praise the Lord instead. I thank Him for the “words” as affirmation/confirmation.
“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:12 nasb
Once the Spirit completed this singing lesson, He allowed me to sing solos again with a much stronger voice. For fear of a repeat lesson, I learned to accept compliments with a humble "thank you and praise the Lord."
The lesson continues as I write today. I pray for every word and give God the glory for every piece accepted for publication.
I do not write for your applause…I write for you to applaud the King of kings and Lord of lords…to God be the glory!
“How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved yet you gave to prove your love for me
The voice of a million angels could not express my gratitude
All that I am, and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.
To God be the glory, to God be the glory,
to God be the glory for things He has done…
…if I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary…”
(My Tribute written by Andrea Crouch sung here by Sissel)