You’ve heard the phrase or maybe used the phrase yourself, “Oh, It’s just a little something I threw together”! Have you ever been complimented on something you cooked or a craft you made or even an outfit that you put together and been told you look great in it? How did you respond? Have you ever tried to compliment someone and had this response given back to you?
Some people can wholeheartedly accept a compliment. Some are outwardly appreciative and thrilled to be recognized, honored or acknowledged with a compliment. And why wouldn’t they be? It isn’t arrogant to be happy about a compliment. A compliment given is a gift. It is just a little something offered to encourage, express appreciation or admiration. A compliment given is a free, yet priceless gift.
Some people have difficulty accepting a compliment. Some are outwardly uncomfortable or embarrassed and just cannot accept a compliment at all. I’ve always been one of “those” people. Genuinely very happy that someone liked what I made or appreciated something I did, liked my outfit or noticed I had a new hairstyle. But the poor person who offered the compliment sure wouldn’t know it by my reaction. The minute the compliment is given I would react with a dismissal gesture or give a reply that dismissed the compliment. This is something I never liked about myself but something I never conscientiously worked on with intent to change until now. I have decided that graciously accepting the gift of a compliment is something I should definitely work on.
My granddaughter, Faith, at 3 years old is the inspiration for this lesson. Faith is sometimes very shy and if you compliment her or “make a fuss” over her she will physically put her head down, look away or even frown and you know she doesn’t like the attention. This reaction made me realize I had expected to get something in return for my gift of a compliment! I wanted to see her sweet smile but when I realized my compliment made her feel bad I felt bad. I certainly don’t want her to grow up to be vain and expect compliments but she made me more aware of the importance of accepting compliments. I pray she will understand how important it is to graciously accept and sincerely appreciate compliments. Faith is sometimes very outgoing and if you compliment her or “make a fuss” over her she will just light up and with much drama and a big smile say, “Oh, Yes! I love it, too” or “Thank you! You are so nice”! Oh, what a joy that reaction is! What a gift she gives back to me when she so sweetly accepts the gift of my compliment. I receive the greater gift when she responds to my compliment with such thankfulness and sweetness. Her simple, child-like delight was such a powerful lesson! She touched my heart and opened my eyes to see what a blessing I can be to someone with something so simple as a gracious, loving response to the gift of a compliment.
Compliments are little gifts from someone who cares about you or appreciates you or has a desire to get to know you better. Sometimes a simple compliment is an attempt to begin conversation. You certainly need to be willing to step outside your clique of friends and make a new friend. Compliments are meant to be little gifts for you to enjoy. To receive any gift with grace is to respond with a smile, and a heartfelt “thank you”. The simple, gracious acceptance of a compliment can itself be a gift and an opportunity to be an encouragement. Your Christian brother or sister could be trying to build up those around them and it would be heartbreaking to think your response discouraged them. We are to be an encouragement to each other and we should look for opportunities to build each other up.
Isaiah 41:6-7 (NIV) they help each other and say to their companions, “Be strong!” The metalworker encourages the goldsmith, and the one who smooths with the hammer spurs on the one who strikes the anvil. One says of the welding, “It is good.” The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.
Philippians 2:1-7 (New American Standard Bible) Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, God expects us to be mindful, aware and thoughtful of all that He has given us. All gifts and blessings from God are His gifts to us motivated by His love for us. God expects us to worship Him with songs of Praise, songs of thanks, songs of compliment. We are taught to be thankful and appreciative and to give selflessly and cheerfully in our giving. I believe we should be cheerful and generous in our giving of time and labor and compliments and any other words or acts of encouragement we can offer to our brothers and sisters and to those outside the Body so they will see our actions and desire to know more. Would you dare approach God in prayer without first offering Him many gifts of compliments and thanks and praise for all He has given to us? We owe this to our brothers and sisters to let them know their service, their talents, their gifts are noticed and appreciated and that they are a vital part of our Christian family.
Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
Imagine you are talking to God and you tell Him of your love and you compliment Him with great appreciation for the exquisite beauty and breathtaking magnificence of His handiwork in creating Earth. He would certainly be pleased with your praise and He might actually say to you, ”Thank you, I’m so glad that you see My love for you in all that I made for you but please don’t love it too much, for it is only a temporary home I made to be tossed away soon.” “It is just a little something I threw together” in only a few days. Just wait until you see your eternal home in Heaven!
1 John 2:15-16 (NIV) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
By Darlene Houser Beeler | Freelance Writer
Darlene Houser Beeler… I am a Christian woman raised in the church as daughter to a Church of Christ minister. I am married to an elder of the church with three grown children and eight grandchildren. I love to search scriptures for topical lessons and enjoy writing scripture-based lessons for Women’s Bible Class. Please write me in C/O Farmington Church of Christ, P O Box 358, Farmington, AR 72730