Summary: To aid in our decision which one must be glorified and honored, men or GOD.
Which praises do you love the most? Praises from men or praises from GOD? Applause from men or applause from GOD? Remember that we can please all people, but we can easily please GOD. Be an audience of one, that is GOD ALMIGHTY? Since when did you last gave glory and honor to GOD, Most High? Our text is at John 12:43 which reads "John 12:43 (Amplified Bible)
12:43 For they loved the approval and the praise and the glory that come from men [instead of and] more than the glory that comes from God. [They valued their credit with men more than their credit with God.] "
Let's remember what JESUS said, if we receive the approval, praise and glory from men, we already received our reward here on earth and don't expect more reward or a reward in Heaven. (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16) The rewards like I've mentioned can either come from GOD or from men. Rich people tend to get the most of these rewards since they can "afford" it but how about the poor people who don't have any money at all just for transportation from their homes to the church? I'm like this before I like receiving applauses from men, but now that I know this, my mind got changed and renewed by the WORD of GOD (Romans 12:2) now I crave and deeply desire to please the LORD GOD - JESUS CHRIST, because only to Him belongs all the Glory and Honor. And He loves the praises from His people, since our relationship with JESUS CHRIST is also a Partnership of some sort, then we, vice versa, must love the praises of GOD. (1 Peter 2:9, 1 Corinthians 10:31) Our existence here on earth is for His very Glory and Honor not for men, but for GOD.
Peter said it very well, that he would rather obey GOD rather than men, for obedience to GOD (Acts 5:29, 1 Samuel 15:22) and unlike King Saul which would rather listen to men and not to GOD, pleasing his men and not GOD. Yes, we will not get any reward at all, or might be we will get the opposite, ridicules from men, but I would rather be ridiculed and insulted for my faith by mere men who dies, and receive approval and praises from GOD. There are things that we believe in that the world could not believe.
Hey, wait if I'm gonna lose the reward from Heaven which is far more infinitely better than the rewards here on earth, I would not accept a single drop of approval and praises from men here. How about if they praise you? Just return it to the LORD. If they say, hey you're getting better and better at this and that, just say, well it's not me, it's GOD that at worked in me, for apart from Him I am nothing, that's how we do it here. (John 15:5, Philippians 2:13) But check your motives first, our ultimate goal in life is to please the LORD, and give Him glory and honor (Psalms 19:14, Psalms 104:34, Proverbs 16:7) that's about it for me, not that it motivates me that I will get a reward, but it's my ultimate goal and desire.
How long do we have to keep on doing this? Till death. Look at the example of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, in order to please the LORD, they would not bow down or worship any idols created by the king, even if it would mean their death by fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:17-18) Rare these days are these men and women who would do this until death, I'm thinking about myself if I can even do half of this. But I'm getting there, I'm using these men as examples, because they are my inspiration in following CHRIST, above all because they follow CHRIST. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Does it mean leaving your present job that doesn't please the LORD? Yes I can say. One good example is if you're working as bar tender or in a club, there's a curse on that job, and it's not pleasing the LORD. If I were you, I would leave that and find a more decent job. (Isaiah 5:22) If you will read that verse, you will see that not just mixing drinks but also drinking wine is abominable to the LORD. If you're working in a club, then you have to decide if you want to receive a high salary, a form of reward from men or rather receive a lower salary where you can please the LORD in your heart. Remember, "Better is a little with righteousness." Who needs a lot of money if it comes from a job that doesn't please the LORD? (Proverbs 15:17, 16:8,16, 19) You have a choice to make, little with righteousness or great revenues with injustice? Godly wisdom or gold? Understanding or silver? Humble spirit or proud that divide the spoils? Yes, a tough decision to make but it's worth it for eternity, anyways, I'll make the choice and keep the ways of the LORD.