Processing Compliments

As seen in the  "The Heartbeat" and published in the Hot Springs Village Voice

Processing Compliments


            Do you like to hear nice things?  “You are so smart! You’re soooooo good lookin’.  You have talents beyond belief.”  Or my favorite, “That’s the best sermon I’ve ever heard!!!”  (I’m terrible).  People tell us these things for many reasons.  The question is how do we process the compliment?

            “Boy, that’s a nice shirt!” one might hear.  The response might be, “This old thing?” or “It’s one of my most comfortable old shirts.”  How does that make the complimentor feel?  Perhaps they feel their compliment has been thrown back in their face or even worse, the person receiving the compliment isn’t worthy of such words.  In either case the words lose their intended meaning.

            So, you might ask, “What’s the best way to say to respond to a compliment?”  A simple “Thank you” is what my granny taught me to say.  To say less diminishes the compliment, and to say more creates an air of dismissal, or carried further, possible sarcasm.  With a “Thank you” everyone can feel good and not be puffed up!

            Jesus gave us the best example of accepting a compliment without being “puffed up,” even to the point of not allowing the purpose of His ministry to be misunderstood.

            Word got out that Jesus healed Simon Peter and Andrew’s mother.  She was ill and running a fever, confined to bed.  When Jesus arrived in the home, He simply took her hand and helped her to her feet.  She was healed by His touch.

            People began to bring loved ones to the house where Jesus was staying.  He healed various diseases, as well cast demons out from some.  In doing the latter, Jesus DID NOT let the demons speak.  He did not want to draw attention away from the early stages of His ministry.

            Things began to get stirred up in the city.  Before the sun rose, Jesus slipped away to be by Himself and pray.  He became so popular so quickly people started to seek Him out at first light.  His disciples found Him and said, “Everyone is looking for you!”  Jesus responded they needed to move on to other villages so He could preach there.

            As we go about our ministries, we need to take caution.  It is easy to get “puffed up” with all the compliments we are paid.  All we have to do is look at a few of the televangelists who fell from grace decades ago.  Again, it’s all how we process the compliments.

            Jesus left Capernaum and went to other cities.  He went about His initial ministry as quietly as He could, spreading His message.  He remained humble throughout His time on earth.  This is the greatest example of how we should go about our ministries – humbly.

            So, say “Thank you” and keep our eyes on Christ as we humbly spread His message.  This will keep His message clear to a world seeking answers during this troubled time.  God wants to hear, “Everyone is looking for Him!”  Amen!

  Mountainside Church · 301 Elcano Drive
Hot Springs Village · AR 71909

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