Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but a person is tested by being praised.
The purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame.
Yesterday we talked about the lying lips of flattery. The flatterer has selfish gain in mind when they pour it on you. Their excessive words aren’t sincere. They have evil intent in lavishing your praise. These people will turn as quickly as possible to turn their flattering praise into a punishment of gossip and slander.
However, the mendacious person isn’t the only one tested with flattery. You will be tested when you are on the receiving end of such praise. You will have to choice to either brush off those words or accept them into your heart that will plant a seed of arrogance that could turn deadly.
Your adversary will use these tactics to get to the very core of your belief system. Who are you? He will go directly to your identity and will either mercilessly tear you down or excessively build you up—in either case; he wins by you becoming ineffective in identity.
Jesus faced both of these temptations. Satan used the scheme of the question to suggest, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.” In other words, if you think that you are who you say you are, test God. When that failed to move Jesus, he turned it around and lavished everything to suggest, “You can have all of this if you will simply bow before me!”
As you know, Jesus defeated the temptation of the devil and went in the power of the Holy Spirit from that day forward.
Listen, every man is tested by those who are used to beat us down with their insults and slanders, and by those who will heap praise upon us for selfish gain.
The only opinion that we should concern ourselves with is the acknowledgment of God.