The Apostle Paul addresses an issue in his letter to the Corinthians that is very rarely discussed in the church, but is critical for us to really think about. The reason it is so often not an important subject, is because there is a corporate belief it is a non-issue among us, but I would propose it is more prevalent that most are willing to admit. Paul says, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise… For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.” We have heard of self-condemnation, but what we rarely here about, yet see often is self-commendation.
It does not take very many minutes having the television on before you hear on a talk show, reality show or even game show someone commending themself for what they have done, what they are doing, or who they are. Self-commendation is prevelant in the world and unfortunately in the church. Titles are free in many churches, so free they make up new titles to try and distinguish themselves from the “typical” titles. It does not stop with titles, it goes on to accomplishments, possibly the most hard to swallow is the self-commendation of souls won, baptisms done, miracles performed or number of people in attendance on a Sunday morning or Saturday night conference or concert. All signs of self-commendation. Paul says, “He who boast is to boast in the Lord” (2 Corinthians 10:17).
The question the Lord asked me while reading 2 Corinthians 10 today is “How many people are looking for a high approval rating from other people, but have no idea what their approval rating is with Me?” This question caused me to pause, ponder and wonder, what approval rating is God giving us? How pleased is He with how we live our lives, how we love our neighbors, how we make our choices, what we do with our time, and how we obey His word? What, honestly, is our approval rating with God? It is probably not as high as most of us unconsciously would like to believe. The approval rating of men is inconsequential if we have a low approval rating with God. It is time to seek the Lord, adjust our lives and align ourselves with His word, so our approval rating can rise based on God’s standard.