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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Wednesday, August 26

Let another praise you and not your own mouth—a stranger, and not your own lips.
—Proverbs 27:2

When someone unexpectedly tells us something wonderful about ourselves, it's like the sun breaking through a dark rain cloud. It's like a hot cup of cocoa on the coldest winter day. It's like a hug of comfort when we're feeling blue.

It feels so good not only because it's unexpected, but because it's unbidden and sometimes even undeserved. We want to believe that what they think about us is true. If we're not sure, we may even try to become what they believe we are. In this case, the praise actually helps make us into a better person.

On the other hand, when we are eager to praise ourselves, we are like a child on a swing calling to mommy to watch us. It's not so much that we are proud of what we are doing, but that we want someone else to be proud of us.

We are looking for that compliment that feels so good, that buoys us up, that helps us feel better than we know ourselves to be. If those compliments aren't coming from others, we may praise ourselves, hoping that others will see us in a favorable light.

When we were created, God's exclamation was “It is good!” This goodness was ours even before we had an opportunity to prove ourselves and before we had developed the need for approval. We can rest in and live from this praise from heaven. We are good, precisely because we have been formed by heaven's hand and God smiles on us with delight.

Gracious God, when I am tempted to boast, remind me that you have already boasted on me from the moment I was conceived until now.