the baby and the bathwater

Wisdom 10: Bang Crash Burn
April 3, 2009, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30)

I am sure that one of the main reasons that people ‘blow up’ in life is that they get hooked on people’s affirmation. They receive praise, or adulation for what they do, and they don’t deal well with it. Footballers end up as alcoholics, Pop stars end up with drug habits, and even Church leaders end up having affairs because they haven’t learned how to deal with the profile.  Fame tests their hearts (Proverbs 27, 21), and their hearts are found wanting.




It happens all too often.

David Beckham, in a recent newspaper interview, talks about his most treasured memories of his footballing career. Often he says that his highlights are not so much when he does the most skillful thing, but when the adulation of the crowd is at it’s highest. And we can probably imagine it. Because the praise of others is intoxicating.

And it seems to me that, once we start positioning ourselves to receive praise, not only do we start to feed our insecurities and get dragged into things we shouldn’t be doing, but we begin to covet other people’s gifting – so we can get some of the praise they are getting as well. And the intoxicating effects take hold, and we become addicted.


I know that I will probably never be as good at singing, writing songs, hearing the voice of God, coming up with new riffs, or speaking as well as many other worship leaders. But actually, that’s not my problem. My concern is to be myself, and to be the best possible ‘myself’ that I can. And as part of that, the only praise I should hunger for, is that of the Father. That sort of reward is OK to look for, seek after, put your self in the position to receive.

It is the course of satisfaction. It is the course of peace. It is the course of obedience.

But envy, such as coveting others giftedness, only leads to destruction, because it creeps up on you, slowly but surely rotting your bones. Maybe quite unnoticed at first. But slowly and surely you become weak.

And then when the pressure comes, suddenly the bones can’t support you.




And that’s not for me.


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