When we accomplish something it feels good if someone notices and compliments us. Often we look for that. Somehow an achievement feels better if we get praise.

There’s a difference between encouragement and flattery, however. Focussed on how good the praise makes us feel we usually ignore the need for discernment to distinguish between the two.

If someone else achieves something give honest encouragement when it applies, certainly.

But when we do something within the will of God, like giving food or a visit to hospital or jail (see Matthew 25:31-46), stop looking for human acknowledgement. Focus on Creator, who has guided you (or allowed you) to do a good thing. Focus on God’s goodness, not your achievement.

Why?

As Jesus said, “I don’t accept praise from humans. But I know what kind of people you are. You don’t have any love for God. I have come with the authority my Father has given me, but you don’t accept me. If someone else comes with his own authority, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept each other’s praise and don’t look for the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:41-44 God’s Word).

When God says, “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:14-30) that really counts for something. God never flatters anyone.