Applause of nail-scarred hands

By Dave Henning / July 12, 2023

“Why are we so quick to accept criticism from people we wouldn’t accept advice from?  My advice?  Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.  If you live on compliments, you’ll die by criticism. . . .  Who are you afraid of offending?  If you’re afraid of offending people, you’ll offend God.  If you’re afraid of offending God, you’ll offend people.  You can’t have it both ways!”- Mark Batterson

“Don’t let the arrow of criticism pierce your heart, unless it first passes through the filter of Scripture.”- Erwin McManus, head pastor of Mosaic

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.”- John 13:3-4 (NIV)

Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 4 of Please Sorry Thanks as he observes that we need not put on airs when we recognize that everything we possess is a gift from God.  As a result, that frees us to wash other people’s feet.  Because you know it’s all from God and it’s all for God.  Hence, please:

  • doesn’t assert it’s authority, it relinquishes its rights.
  • takes responsibility instead of shifting blame.
  •  is putting a towel around your waist and washing feet.

Most significantly, Mark notes, how you shake hands possibly says more about you than you realize.  For when you shake hands with your palm angled upward, it signals submission.  So, like first-person pronouns, such a gesture speaks volumes.

In conclusion, Mark offers these words of encouragement:

“”Quit washing your hands and pretending it’s someone else’s problem.  Start washing feet, and see whether doors don’t open sesame!  Please is not people pleasing.  It takes a lot of courage to grab a towel and wash feet, but when you do, your please packs a punch!  Are you washing your hands of responsibility?  Of are you taking responsibility and washing feet?”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you live for the applause of nail-scarred hands?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Your words carry weight”

About the author

Dave Henning

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