Applause of One

“Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”

Proverbs 27:2

I was invited to be part of my childhood best friend’s wedding, and while we had not been very close in several years, I was still excited to asked. I was told I needed to rent a tuxedo for the event, but they were gracious enough to send me to a discounted rental shop. I did not make the cut as a groomsmen, but was given duty as an usher. I attended the rehearsal dinner and at that event, his well-organized bride-to-be gave each one of us a detailed itinerary of what our various tasks would be according to our role in the wedding. As bridal party was taking photos and such, the ushers would be responsible for tear down and other various duties. I may have grumbled a bit, but I quickly warmed up to the idea and was glad to help.

The wedding was a beautiful ceremony and I was glad I was there to witness it in person. The wedding ended and we got to work taking down things and putting them away. The weather was nice so it was no problem working outside and taking care of things. As we were working, I worked up an appetite and was excited for the reception that would follow. We took some photos with the bridal party and then it was time for the awaited reception. I was given final instructions of where my wife and I would sit, and I was then told I would not enter the reception with the other guests but I would be given a proper introduction. I became excited as I had only been introduced in one Little League Game and at my high school graduation ceremony. I thought this was going to be awesome, and I eagerly took my place in line.

I lined up just outside the reception hall, and I could hear the DJ giving some initial remarks. Soon after his announcements, I heard the music start to play and it was the old Phoenix Suns/Chicago Bulls intro song, and my adrenaline got pumping. I became pretty excited, but it was not quite my turn to go. The parents of my friends were introduced first and there was a loud applause, which was expected. I was introduced right after them and the previous thunderous applause turned into a singular clapping sound from my wife, Rebekah. I am not sure how it was possible for such a glorious applause to turn into near complete silence, but it happened to me that day. My excitement turned into embarrassment, and I quickly found my way to my table only to hear the crowd come back to life when the next person was announced.

I am not sure what I expected exactly, but I guess it was more applause than I received. I was grateful my wife was there or the crickets could have been heard in that building. I learned a bit of humility that day, and it was clear I was an usher and not a groomsmen. I forgot that years had passed since we were close, and it is always better to have one person who loves and cares for you than none at all. I soon got over my embarrassing moment, and I enjoyed the rest of the night and was happy for my friend. The night was not about me anyway, and the quicker I realized that, the sooner I got over my embarrassment.
We must be careful not to promote ourselves but allow others to say kind words about us. We must also learn to die to both compliments and criticisms. Everything good we have is of God and all praise and glory is due to Him. He will exalt us in His time. There is nothing greater than giving Him glory for what He does in our lives, and our first reaction should be to to point to Him instead of lifting up ourselves. May we desire that He get the glory in all that we do, and may we live a life worthy that others would praise Him.

Stay in the Fight!

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