The Apostle Paul knew the emptiness of people’s praises. Several times people thought he was a god because of the healing that God did through him. In response to these healings, people started to worship him. There were also times where Paul was criticized for telling the truth. We can’t put any hope in people’s praises.
“Paul said in a loud voice, “Stand up on your feet!” And he jumped up and began to walk around. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”… Some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and when they won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead.”
People are Fickle
One minute a Greek god, the next minute stoned. People are very fickle. A lame man was healed, and the people wanted to sacrifice animals to Paul and Barnabas. Paul had to tear his clothes to keep them from doing it. Then some Jews came and spread rumors to stir up the crowd and the next thing you know Paul is being stoned and thrown out of the city. Where is the justice in this? This is a perfect example of how people can be singing your praises one moment and then the next minute be tearing your down.
When you do the work of the Lord, there will always be resistance, jealousy, and misunderstanding. This shouldn’t deter you from serving. After Paul was stoned, he got up and went to the next city and preached the Gospel. Are you down and feeling defeated today? Pick yourself up and keep going. Refocus your eyes upon the Lord and not on getting the acceptance of people. What people think about you ranks way below what God does. If you are doing your best and have the right motives, you don’t have to worry about anything. Keep serving God and loving people and don’t get caught up in the emptiness of people’s praises.