Can you imagine how you might feel if the great Apostle praised you for successfully passing the tests of life?
“Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test”. (Romans 16:10)
We don’t know how Apelles was tested. But we do know how we have been tested.
We serve one also was tested in every way and didn’t fail.
See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation.” (Isaiah 28:16)
A tested stone. In every way possible He was tried, tempted, tested and He came out totally obedient.
But here’s the question: when you know you’ve done well, you’ve become a veteran as a follower of Christ, you’ve stood the test of time and the trials of life and you are now being recognised for having done so, you are being praised: can you pass this praise test?
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise, v21.
The kind of testing that makes a person a Godly person is not the testing but the successes.
How does a person handle praise?
Do they deflect it to God out of false humility?
Do they crave for more?
Do they try and please to get praise?
Is it a drug?
Does it create their fantasist identity?
Do preachers think they’re giving a presidential speech?
Do worship leaders think they’re pop idols?
If there’s no praise do workers think they are undervalued and so do not work?
Within praise there lies such temptation.
Praise is a crucible, it is a furnace.
Let’s not fail at the final hurdle. Let’s not pass the tests to simply fail at the grand podiums that our successes have built.
Whoever Apelles (and the others) actually was I believe the Apostle had confidence he could survive the test of praise.