In Matthew 6:1, Jesus instructs his hearers to “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (cf. Gal 1:10; 1 Thess 2:4; John 12:43; Prov 29:25; Is 2:22; Rom 12:3).
The praise of man is poison; the lure of applause is strong.
Paul Tripp has a piece here on the temptation of thinking you’ve “arrived.” I identify with these words more closely than I care to admit:
There are times when the congratulatory comments of a thankful hearer morphs into self-congratulation. There are times when I am defensive as someone presumes to question or confront me. There are times when I am too self-aware and not nearly as Christ-aware as I should be. I still struggle with latent self-righteousness, and the praise of others tends to confirm the praise for myself I still carry around in my heart. So I still cry out for help. I still need to be rescued from me. I still have but one hope: the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.