Monday, April 25, 2011

#173 - Praise as Sweet as Honey!

Good morning! I pray you had a great Easter! Time to enjoy family, food & a celebration of our ALIVE JESUS!?! :) What a blessed time. We had a great time visiting with family, and I must say that my mother-in-law, Jeannine, outdid herself with an UH-MAZING lunch yesterday! It was pretty awesome. What a blessing to have home-cooking! It really does beat any restaurant! Thanks J! :)

Let's get started:
Proverbs 25:16 - Have you found [pleasure sweet like] honey? Eat only as much as is sufficient for you, lest, being filled with it, you vomit it.
Proverbs 25:27 - It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory.
Proverbs 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her.
Proverbs 31:31 - Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]!
In our Proverbs 25 verses, both talk about honey. Sweet, honey. In the Hebrew, that is exactly what it means. Honey means honey. Unlike some other words in the Hebrew, it does not give us a plethora of other definitions of the word. Although, verse 27 does take honey and compare it to men seeking their own glory. It compares it in the latter part of the verse as something that men/women can crave. Notice. Recognition. Praise. Admiration. It compares the sweetness, the gratifying feeling that "praise" brings, that recognition brings.

So... we have two avenues to walk down on this one. We can first walk down the avenue that is just a blanket fact. Craving pure honey, sweets, sugar, desserts. Desiring and filling oneself with these pleasure in excess is highly not recommended in both verses. Proverbs 25 verse 16 does not say that sweets, desserts are bad, but it recommends using wisdom when eating them. Eat ONLY what is sufficient for that sweet tooth, pull the reigns back from allowing yourself to indulge.

OK. One word: GUILTY! Here we come, off of a great holiday.... for me, a week and a half of baking just because I felt like it! Baking, leads to needing to get rid of the "baked goods." Right?! Have you ever been eating, and you are no longer hungry, but you just want to eat more anyways because it is so good? You don't desire more, but you know that once you leave, the yummy treat will be all, so, you indulge! Guilty! Our Proverbs 25 verses remind us of to hold back! Consequences? Vomiting. Not feeling good. Feeling heavy, bloated, maybe depressed. Self-control is an underlying theme in both verse 16 & 27. I heard a trick from Dr Duke Johnson about desserts. He said to enjoy them, but to eat the best bites first! The first bite sends a "sensation" signal to your brain like, "Ooooh! This is so good." The taste-buds are heightened. Then the 2nd bite, the sensation signal that is sent to the brain isn't as strong. The 3rd bite, less strong. And before you know it, you get to the last bite and sure, it's still good, but not "THE" good like the 1st bite. So... make the 1st bite the best! He said, after having several of the best bites, you can often push the rest of the "cheesecake"back. You've already eaten the best bites of it, now just the "scraps" are left over.

That was a bit of a tangent.... but, hopefully one you can use. I'd like us to take a look at the Proverbs 31 women. Proverbs 25:27 compares eating honey, consuming in it's sweetness to seeking glory. Everyone loves to be praised. Everyone likes a pat on the back, appreciation, recognition - whether in private or public. I was even reading about potty-training this morning.... to have a POTTY dance after your little one goes potty as a way of praising them, or showing them they did a good job. Now... I'm not recommending that YOU adopt a "potty dance" (that would be funny though, especially if you don't have a little kid!)... but look to what the Proverbs 31 woman did! Two things happened for her to receive praise. FIRST: her children & her husband praised her. She was praised by those closest to her. Not praise sought out, praise that was freely given. SECONDLY: her WORKS praised her. She let her accomplishments speak for themselves. She did everything to the best of her ability, and she let the quality of her work speak for her. The quality of her work, the consistency of her work, the results of her work, she let her results, her work speak for themselves.

Allow your family, friends, co-workers to do a "dance" for you! Allow them to sing your praises. Allow your works to do a "dance" for you. That you do such great work, that it shines through. You receive praise, recognition, but in a way that is received with humility. Others given instead of self given.

So... if you want praise, let your work shine. If you want praise, sow praise. Praise others for their good work. Create your own "dance" for your friends and family when they do good! Praise others and you too will get praised! Praise... as sweet as honey!

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