Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
A bit of encouragement and recognition goes a long way. This is true of ourselves as well as others whom we love and work with. Too much undue encouragement, however, is not helpful; sometimes it can be very damaging.
Proverbs 27:14 continues to remind us of the “wise” son of verse 11. Genuine wisdom is giving honor to whom honor belongs and in proper proportions. Certainly, we must not forget to give ultimate praise and worship to God, especially for that which rightfully belongs to him. In a human sense, too, there are those who should be prasied for excelling in knowledge, deeds of kindness or usefulness, or for special acts and gifts.
The proverb warns us, however, not to give this in quantities that are not appropriate. We should not be doing it in a “loud voice,” or making it known to people who would not appreciate it. We should not be “rising early in the morning” or going to excessive energies to make something known. There is an appropriate place for praise and encouragement; the Proverbs says there is also an inappropriate and excessive way to praise another. To give too much praise is a “curse.” The greatest danger is that it can be a temptation to pride.
The Scriptures remind us not to think more highly of ourselves, or others, than we ought to. Let us seek to follow our Lord who humbled himself, even to death on a cross. If others are going to say good things about us, let us receive that as a favor from the Lord.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By George McFarland. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org