John 5:44 “How can you believe, if you accept praise from one another yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?”
This verse cuts to the heart of your relationship with Christ — Who do you serve in all the spheres of your life? This question is subtly in the back ground of all the relationships in your life — your parents, your spouse, your closest friend, peer groups, social clubs, hobbies, work or whatever relationships that might be important to you. It is a thin line that separates you from following God and His ways to one of compromise or performing for the relationships around you. When this happens, your life in Christ shifts from seeking Him first to allowing others to come before Him. How do you obtain the praise that only comes from God? Paul gave you a glimpse in Philippians 3:10 – “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” Jesus gave you another look in Matthew 6:33 when He said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Placing Christ at the center of every decision provides the proper frame of reference; hearing and responding to His will puts Him first. It is not enough to just know and hear the Word, but you must respond in obedience.
John 12:42-43 “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.” (NIV)