The Effects of Praising Men

by Ellen White

Some are in great peril through self-esteem. If they have a measure of success, Satan suggests to them that they are men of talent; and there are men and women professing godliness who help him in his work by repeating his suggestion. The man who is praised for his ability learns to rely on his own understanding, and does not feel his need of help from above. Selfishness becomes a ruling principle with him, his soul is spotted and marred by self-exaltation, and the weakness of his character is made manifest. The Lord leaves such persons to go on in their self-sufficiency, to work without his grace and special help; and they congratulate themselves that they have his blessing, when they are walking in the sparks of their own kindling. All this labour is a positive injury; for it blocks the way against the efficient labour of devoted men. These persons need humble, pure religion, which is not tainted with self-exaltation. Jesus says to them, as he said to Peter, "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."[1 LUKE 22:32.] GW92 439

I have not tested the wine that you claim is not intoxicating. I have perhaps used half a pint in all, taking a spoonful with a raw egg, much as I hate the taste of wine. I would not care, even if I had not solemnly pledged myself not to use wine as a beverage, to make a daily practice of taking even one teaspoonful with a raw egg, for Satan is at work to encourage the use of tea, coffee, wine, and beer, that he may make us dependent upon these things, and encourage our resorting to them frequently, so that our appetite and taste will crave these stimulants. I tell you frankly that you would be much better in nerve and muscle if you made a decided change in your practice, not only in drinking stimulating drinks, but in eating so largely of meat. The animal powers are strengthened by indulgence in these things, and the moral and spiritual powers are overborne. I am not guilty of drinking any tea except red clover top tea, and if I loved wine, tea, and coffee, I would not use these health-destroying narcotics, for I prize health, and I prize a healthful example in all these things. I want to be a pattern of temperance and of good works to others. Will my brother practice as well as preach temperance in all things? If you do this, I do not believe you will be so changeable in your character. Your words will be more select and well chosen. You will not be careless in regard to your conversation. You will not be so depressed at one time and so hilarious at another, acting like a boy in place of an ambassador of Jesus Christ. I am seriously troubled for your soul. I know people are unwise in praising you and extolling you; should they read you as God sees you, they could not do this. I know that when you have apparent success you are elated, and you crave praise; and you get it from many, who, if their hearts were right with God, would not speak one word to flatter you. They would understand that it is not safe to pet and praise you, or any other poor, sinful mortal. The Lord is to be exalted by all his creatures. Finite man is not to attract admiration or praise, but do his work in humility. Ellen White. PH096 055

We are to imitate Christ. The people should be able to discern the Spirit of Christ in his followers; and when the Spirit of God works with your efforts, you will not work in vain. The people will see that God works in you, and they will be moved by his Spirit to accept the truths that you present before them. The preacher should do something more than simply to please the taste, and convince the intellect. His words should reach the hearts of his hearers. And when men and women are led to accept the truth through the instrumentality of man, they should not give honour to the man, but they should realise that his efforts have been successful because divine power has accompanied his work, and give the glory to God. It is the truth that he has presented to them that should receive their acceptance and favour. RH JUN.11,1889

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" [verse 7]. Have we received a bright thought? If so, we are not to think that it is because of any wonderful smartness or intelligence in ourselves. It is because God is the Author of it. If anyone tells you you have preached a good sermon, tell him the devil told you that before he did, and for him not to be an agent for the devil. There is pride in our hearts that must be emptied out, and then Jesus Christ will come in and take possession of our whole heart. SAT 099