Monday, January 12, 2009


A boy studied singing systematically under a renowned singer for several years. Finally, he was asked to perform before a selected audience. That was his first public performance. It was very impressive and displayed the skill he achieved through years of rigorous training and constant practice. His colleagues and friends in the audience were impressed tremendously. They danced with joy as he sang most melodiously.

At the end, he came out of the stage, but was in tears. His friends congratulated him for his remarkable performance and inquired why he was crying. The boy remarked, "I was watching the facial expression of my teacher, who was seated in the front row of the audience. I did not notice any sign of appreciation on his face. Hence I am sure that my performance was not perfect. So I am really sad and ashamed.

This is true about all our actions. We may receive praise and applause from our well-wishers and friends. But the real merit of our actions is decided by God, our creator. Our activities attain perfection only when they become acceptable to our Lord. We must act to please God, and not men.

The Gospel describes the Jewish authorities who believed in Jesus but did not dare to talk about it openly as they were afraid of the Pharisees thus: "They loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God" {John 12: 43}.

St. Paul teaches us, "Does this sound as if I am trying to win man's approval? No indeed! What I want is God's approval! Am I trying to be popular with men? If I were still trying to do so, I would not be a servant of Christ" {Galatians 1: 10}.


By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is Story No. 43 in this site. Please click ‘Older Post’ at the bottom of this page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Post' at the bottom of this page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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