Read 1 Corinthians 4:3-5
3-4 It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don’t even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless. I’m not aware of anything that would disqualify me from being a good guide for you, but that doesn’t mean much. The Master makes that judgment.
5 So don’t get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of—inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the “Well done!” of God. (THE MESSAGE)
In our lives we will be the recipients of many words. Some of these will be critical, whether constructive or destructive. Others will be congratulatory, affirming our good features. Some of this praise might be genuine while some might be mere flattery.
The point is that we dare not let criticism deflate us or praise inflate us. If we are the types who get big-headed when people compliment us, we will be the types who sink into the pit when people criticise us. We show ourselves to be at the mercy of other’s opinions, always a fragile place to be.
Paul reminds us that other’s opinions don’t matter most. Even his own opinions of himself don’t matter most. Let’s face it, we can be very mistaken in our self-assessments. It is God’s opinions that ultimately count. And his opinions will neither be scathing or flattering. He knows us utterly and assesses justly and mercifully.
In life we will have our critics and our fan clubs. Beware of letting either form our identity. Instead of such an up-and-down existence, better to leave ourselves in the hands of the One who neither inflates nor deflates us. The One who simply loves us.
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