Praise is a wonderfully deadly thing, unless it is from God. The more I seek the praise of others, or from myself, the less I will be satisified, and the greater distance will exist between myself and God. In Christ we have a new identity, a new self, determined not by what we do or who we are, but by Christ himself. Tim Keller's 2003 sermon, at Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC on Jeremiah 9: 21-26, explores these issues.
"Death has come up into our windows, it has entered our palaces, to cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares." Speak! Thus says the Lord: "Human corpses shall fall like dung upon the open field, like sheaves behind the reaper, and no one shall gather them."Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will attend to all those who are circumcised only in the foreskin: Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all those with shaven temples who live in the desert. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart. Jeremiah 9