Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Encouragements: What Should We Praise?

Last night I went to a meeting for women and girls. The speaker was Kylie Bisutti, a former Victoria's Secret supermodel, who ended up quitting that life because it clashed with her Christian faith. Here are some links to her story, although that is not going to be my focus today.

One thing that Kylie said last night struck me. "I was being praised for sin." That praise encouraged her to keep going. After Kylie spoke, her mother answered a few questions and courageously admitted that she was one of those who praised Kylie for the wrong things she was doing. She was a believer and knew that Kylie was hurting herself, her husband and God, but she knew that the modeling life was what Kylie wanted and felt it was OK to encourage her.

Kylie's case is a dramatic one and the praise she received was extensive. Plus, she made a lot of money. Her sin -- modeling nearly naked in front of men not her husband -- is a clear one to most Christians. But her story is not entirely unique.

How often do we praise things that are sinful or that may be good in themselves but are done from wrong motives? Some possible examples:

  • Praising greed -- perhaps disguised as ambition
  • Encouraging young people to do community service so it will look good on a college application or for recognition rather than simply to help someone
  • Egging kids on to brag about what  they are good at and to be prideful in the name of raising self-esteem
  • Supporting people in "playing it safe" by blending in when they should be speaking up for God.

There are a million others.

So what should we be praising? Anything that reflects well on God and helps us live according to his purposes.

Galatians 5: 22-23 lists some things:  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Phillipians 4:8 tells us: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things"

And Hebrews 10:23-25 reminds us:

23 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

What have you been praising lately?

This post is part of Wednesday Encouragements: A Christian Blogging Challenge


  1. This article is very important. Years ago, I told my husband that I would never want him to have a job making things that we could never buy. Thank you for the article.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Deb. I like the idea of never making something you wouldn't buy.