Thursday, January 29, 2009


Ever had someone compliment you and not known what to say? If you say "Thanks" you might sound conceited. If you say "Oh, well, this old thing..." you may seem ungrateful, plus you've stolen the other person's joy in complimenting you.

People thrive under compliments. Boys need to be affirmed by their fathers (or the father figures in their lives). It's a need. Girls need to know they are adored and cherished, capable and beautiful. I think too often authority figures hold back affirmation for fear of encouraging conceit or vanity or pride. So, we've gone in the other direction. We don't affirm people as they're growing and trying new things and wanting to be acknowledged for their efforts. Then, they feel under-valued and taken for granted, or that their efforts don't matter and the people around them could do without them.

Part of character building is knowing what to do with compliments. Pride goes before a fall. So, don't let it go in that direction. But honestly evaluate the comment.

Why is it easier to receive and believe criticism than it is to believe or receive a compliment?

Here's an exercise: Ask God to show you how He feels about you. How He sees you. He's your Creator. He should know. And whatever He says (and I can guarantee, knowing how gracious and merciful He is, His words will be full of life), r e c e i v e His words. Take them in. Write them down. More than likely, he'll take you to a Scripture and confirm what He's saying.

Here's an example from the Bible. In the Song of Solomon (which has literal and figurative meanings), the king pursues a maiden who is not royalty. She doesn't see herself the way her king does. (Think of Jesus with His people, Jesus with you.)

Her estimation:

Do not look upon me, because I am dark, Because the sun has tanned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; They made me the keeper of the vineyards, But my own vineyard I have not kept. (Song of Songs 1:6, NKJV)

"I am dark" -- I'm imperfect or I've failed, so, I'm not lovely (or lovable).

His response:

O My love... Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; you have doves’ eyes. (Song 1:9a, 15, ModernKJV)

A very different response.

Receive His words of life. He is wooing you and showing you who are truly are and what you were meant to be.

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