I would rather be tested by curses any day, than tested by praise. It is when men speak well of me that I am most prone. How I lap it up – like a dog will lap up something sweet left unguarded – almost compulsively and without restraint. We will bend more toward those who flatter us, than yield to the pressure of those who cast insults our way. It is harder for us to disappoint those whose opinions we respect and have previously enjoyed than to cast off the mud slung by known enemies. This is the real test. Lord, spare me from it.
“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:8-9)
Better the crucible, better the furnace – than the adoration of men – especially when it is sincere.