READ: Proverbs 27-28
THINK: How do you react to the spotlight? Perhaps popularity isn't an issue for you and receiving recognition isn't something you're accustomed to. But when positive praise and congratulations do come, how do you handle the attention? Any honor you receive from others tests your character. Your response (both outwardly and in your mind) can reveal either hidden pride or sincere humility. Selfish pride indicates failure to realize that one's opportunities, abilities and accomplishments are largely due to God and others. Instead of doing things for personal glory, look for ways to honor God and benefit others. Passing the test of praise reflects pure motives and can prove that you're living to please God rather than other people.
RESPOND: Why does 27:1 tell us, "Do not boast about tomorrow"? (See 27:1 note.) Why should you let others give you praise when appropriate, rather than promoting yourself (27:2)? Why is jealousy one of the most powerful and destructive emotions (27:4)? What does it mean that "wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses" (27:6)? What does it mean that "as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (27:17), and how does this apply to friendships and other relationships? What can a person's response to recognition and honor reveal about the person's character (27:21)? Why and in what ways are righteous and godly people bold (28:1)? How does God respond to the prayers of those who disregard His Word (28:9)? (See 28:9 note.) What consequences will a person suffer for leading good people down the wrong path (28:10)? What happens to those who try to hide their sin, compared to those who admit and turn from sin (28:13)? (See 28:13 note.) How does greed cause trouble and division (28:25)? What does God promise to those who help the poor (28:27)? (See 28:27 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to forgive you of any jealousy toward anyone. Pray that you'll be content with what God has given you rather than envying what others have or do. Pray to develop friendships that will sharpen you spiritually.
ACT: Congratulate someone-perhaps someone you don't know well-for an honor or accomplishment they've achieved. Make a conscious effort to "sharpen" and encourage those around you. If you've been a bad influence on anyone, apologize and do what you can to make things right.
New Testament FIRE Starters are now available in a yearlong, daily devotional book. This hard cover book is laid out in 365 daily devotionals allowing you to take FIRE with you! Great for personal use, to use as a family or give as a gift.
Order your hard copy of the FIRE Starters book today!
If you do not have a Fire Bible Student Edition, place your order NOW!