Empty Applause

This quote by Jimmy Needham stuck out to me today:  

Be Thou exalted over my reputation,
‘Cause applause is a poor form of soul medication.

Applause really is poor medication. It’s like drinking a Mountain Dew for energy, you get a boost for a moment but crash and burn later. It’s never enough to actually sustain you.

Applause doesn’t go deep enough. It’s too weak to provide the sustenance our soul needs. With one piece of negative criticism the high from our applause quickly withers.

The only one that can really sustain us is the Lord. That is why I like this quote from Thomas Boston:

And when the applause is obtained, what do you have? A vain empty puff of wind. They think much of you, you think much of yourself and in the meantime God thinks nothing of you.

Vain. Empty. Puff of Wind. Fitting words for applause when it is our foundation.

In our 21st century world it might be fitting to replace“applause” with retweet, like, share, or link. I’ve found as a writer that if I am doing what I do for the sake of a retweet or a share, then I’m building a ministry on sand. I’m destined for a roller-coaster of emotion. I’ll be floating on cloud nine when an article I write is linked to. Likewise, the pit of despair will be my only companion when I go through a dry spell.

This is a question I’ve asked myself numerous times over the last 5-6 years of writing. Do I rejoice when Jesus is glorified and I’m not? Or as Jimmy Needham has worded it, “So friends, will we point to the Son till our own flames grow dim?”

Yes, I want you to share this post, like it, benefit from it, and see it find a wider circulation. But I want to want that because I believe it will exalt Jesus—not my own reputation.

Consider purchasing that entire Jimmy Needham album. (While you are at it buy everything from Needham).