Who do you love?

For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. – John 12:4

Jesus was nearing the time of his departure from this earth – the hours leading up to his death and resurrection. Jesus had recently prayed and raised Lazarus from the dead, which caused many people to believe in him as the Son of Man and to follow him. When people heard he was coming to Jerusalem, they thronged him. They listened to him, and many became his followers including leaders of the religious elite. Sadly, many of these people refused to publicly confess and profess their love of God through Jesus because they feared being kicked out of the synagogue. They desired the praises of men more than praise from God.

There have been people in my life in the past, who have pointed out that I used to gloat and feed off of the praise of people. I have been labeled as proud, arrogant, cocky, conceited, and even self-absorbed. Well, at one time in my life, those things were all true! I don’t deny it. I had grown up disliked by many and not desired as a friend, save a few. As I grew older, I decided that I would make people like me and be somebody. Unfortunately, I became like those that had mistreated me as a kid. I had crossed over from one extreme to the other – from disliked to being disliked. It took a long time and much pain created for others for me to fall on my face and learn grace. Many people were hurt by me over the years. To all of them, I say that I am truly sorry and remorse the damage caused. I now try to walk in grace and humility, for God requires three things of us: to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before him. May my words be filled with grace and seasoned with salt to all.

Father, my simple prayer today is that I always walk in humility and not be a proud, arrogant man. I desire to put others before myself and to fully rely upon your grace to do what it is I am to do in life. I walked for too long in pride in the past. You’ve forgiven me of that past and no longer hold it against me. Help me to learn from my past mistakes and wrongs and to walk forward in victory but also in grace and mercy with true humility of heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.