Do you ever wonder if the things you are doing make any difference in the world? Does anyone appreciate them? We like to hear genuine compliments from others. They spur us on to continue working and behaving positively. Whether we do or do not receive these compliments from others here on earth, we will one day hear the ultimate compliment. The one Christ has for us.
One part of a Biblical marriage mindset is showing preference to your spouse and treating them better than you treat any other person. Therefore, a healthy marriage should include frequent doses of compliments for each other.
I believe God wants us to recognize the good in other people. After all, twice in the Bible, the Father himself complimented His Son for everyone to hear.
Compliments from God Himself
The first time this happened was in Matthew 3:13-17 when John the Baptist baptized Jesus. God spoke his approval of his son in an audible voice, and said, “This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him.”
The next time, in Matthew 17:1-5, was in a more intimate setting. Jesus took his closest disciples to a mountain where they witnessed his transfiguration. God the Father spoke the same words about his son here.
There are many accounts in the bible where Jesus compliments the people around him. He praised Nathanael for his honesty, the woman with the demon-possessed daughter for her faith, Mary Magdalene for her large heart, and the poor widow at the temple for giving out of her poverty, not out of surplus.
We compliment each other because Jesus isn’t physically standing next to us telling us what is great about us. The compliments we give should be compliments that lead to God by pointing out where others are in life and the things that they do.
How to Accept a Compliment
For this reason, take the compliments that people give you, and give God the glory for what he’s doing in you. Don’t play the “Oh, I’m not worthy” card. You are worthy of genuine praise because of the work of Christ in you. We are worthy because the gifts we have come from Him, and he is worthy. He does all things well.
Accept the compliment without showing false humility. Don’t congratulate yourself; it is not YOU who deserves the praise. Everything we have comes from Jesus. All the spiritual growth and your gifts come from the time you spend with him. Simply say thank you and pass the praise on to Jesus. He is the one who gives you your abilities, gifts, personality, talents, and looks.
If you hold onto that compliment for yourself, you stand the chance of forgetting that Jesus is the source of all of it. You will become prideful and cause terrible consequences. King Uzziah thought he deserved it too. Here’s what happened to him in 2 Chronicles 26.
The Final Compliment
One day Jesus will return and the world as we know it will see the beginning of the end. Some of us may not be here to witness that event, but we will celebrate it just as thoroughly. When we enter Heaven, there is one thing we all should want to hear.
“Well done, good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:23
In his book, Life to the Full, Max Lucado speaks of this verse in this way:
“Well done, good and faithful servant,” Jesus will say to some (Matthew 25:23). Maybe your dad never praised you or your teachers always criticized you, but God will applaud you. And to have him call you good… well, when he does, it counts! Only he can make bad sinners good. And only he can make the frail faithful. “Well done, good and faithful…” The point? Use your uniqueness to take great risks for God! The only mistake is not to risk making one!–Max Lucado
It doesn’t matter what anyone has said to you or about you in this life. Nor do the things matter that no one has spoken in recognition of your efforts. When we receive this final, eternal commendation from Christ, all of those other words will become nothing. We will be made complete in a way we cannot even imagine on this earth.
Receive the Ultimate Compliment from God
How can you receive that ultimate compliment? It’s really quite simple. Be saved, seek, and serve.
Be saved: Admit that you are a sinner. (Romans 3:23). No one is worthy of the gift of salvation or anything else from God. Believe in the fact that Jesus died for your sins. (John 3:16) His love for you is so deep; it’s unfathomable. He was willing to die a horrible death to take the punishment for your list of sins. Then confess that Jesus is the Lord of your life. (Romans 10:9) Give all of yourself over to him for a spiritual makeover and let others see and hear the difference.
Seek: Spend time in God’s word and prayer finding his direction for your life.
Serve: Use those talents and gifts that God has given you to lead others to him. Don’t bury your skills. Use them to increase the kingdom of God.
Be a Good and Faithful Servant
God doesn’t require a list of must-dos or shouldn’t dos once you come to him. He only wants you to live your life in a way that honors Him. This passage from Carter Conlin shows some of the ways to do this.
“Just do well where you are; win the victory where you are planted. Stay in the marriage that you are in; raise the children that God gave you. Work diligently in the job you have, or search diligently for the one you don’t have yet. Stand strong in your neighborhood; speak the truth when other people lie; speak kindly when vilification is on the lips of almost everyone around you. Walk morally clean; be given for others even when self-focus tends to be the dominating force of our day.”–Carter Conlin
Each of them will earn us the praises of man, but more importantly, it will ensure the giving of that ultimate compliment from God.
“Baptism of Christ 16” flickr photo by Waiting For The Word https://flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/5699932687 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license