It’s rare, as in never, when someone gives me a real compliment that I don’t enjoy receiving it. A genuine word of affirmation can live on in someone’s memory for years to come. The speaker might forget it, but the recipient remembers.
But what about compliments given with a motive? There are people who try to set up conversations so that they will receive a kind word. We’ve all seen these not so subtle ego driven people. While wearing a new pair of shoes they will compliment your shoes or magically bring up the topic of, oh, I don’t know, SHOES. It’s superficial and easily seen as a ploy to get a compliment.
Then there are those who try to flatter you in order to gain something from you. This isn’t always seen through until time has passed and intent is clearer. You might have a position of power and they compliment or flatter you in an effort to gain your trust or your good will. Maybe they say nice things to you in order to get work out of you. Maybe they say you’re pretty to get your bubble gum. 🙂 Listen close Mister, I ain’t pretty and I ain’t got no bubble gum.
As you look through the Bible there is one person who always seems to be giving compliments, Paul. It was surprising when I first realized this about the apostle Paul. Paul is typically viewed as an intelligent, missionary who was bold and outspoken in promoting Jesus. We don’t often see this blunt, direct man as the type of person who would showers compliments, but he is.
From Romans 1 – “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.”
Here are some phrases from Romans 16 that he used-
“who worked very hard for you.”
“They are outstanding …”
“… my dear friend…”
“…whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test.”
“…those women who work hard in the Lord.”
“…who has worked very hard in the Lord.”
“Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.”
From Philippians 1
“I thank my God every time I remember you.”
“I have you in my heart”
“God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”
There are many more references that i could give but this shows his personality. Paul built people up, he said kind, loving words with the intent to encourage. He lived a dangerous life and he knew that today could be his last day. So Paul put positive, uplifting words into the ears of those who helped him. (He also told the truth when negative things needed to be said, but that’s for a different day.)
I have people and you have people who mean something to you so why not tell them today?
Bob Anderson – Gentle, funny guy who is always building people up.
Len Winneroski – Loves God, loves his family and loves people
Tony Smith – Wise, visionary, personal pastor
Tina Cloer – Great in business but better with me, she still amazes me
Aaron Case – My best friend for years, transparent with his flaws so that he can help people, that is extremely rare
Kris Parker, Jimmy Cone – They live in different states and don’t know each other but they are both relentless about promoting foster care. And I love it!
Abby Swift, Ericka Stiles – Vice presidents at Children’s Bureau who are great business women who have a huge heart for kids. They focus on business but light up when kids come through the door.
Jim and Nancy Burger – Constantly encouraging me, always fighting for the underdog
Angie Carter – Sweet, kind, helpful, a loving mom to her boys, my sister
How about 1 more quote from Paul?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up