And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
With a failing septic leach field on our hands, I went to the Town Planning Board this week, desperately hoping they had the schematics for our system. When they did, I was almost giddy with relief. After the guy photo-copied the plans, and did so to include the scale, I gushed in gratitude: “Ooh! You even included the scale! Nice job!”
He seemed surprised and taken aback by my praise. Then he asked me, “Are you a teacher or something? Is that why you said, ‘Nice job?'”
It struck me as sad that he wasn’t used to being complimented, and actually questioned my motive.
I know, as adults, we’re supposed to find affirmation and self-worth within. But isn’t it nice to get a sincere compliment now and again? We all have bad days, even bad seasons in our lives. When someone praises us for something we’ve done, it can lift the clouds for a bit and let the sun shine through.
In Matthew 3:13-17, after John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, the Heavens part and the voice of God says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” I think it would have been sufficient for God to just declare Jesus as His Son. It’s safe to say everyone would have assumed He approved. Yet, God goes a step further and says He’s “well pleased” with Jesus.
I believe God did so because, despite being divine, Jesus was human too. The human side of everyone likes to be affirmed. When we are, we’re inspired to do more, to be more.
Life can be hard, whether it’s filled with difficult challenges, or just the drudgery of the mundane. A kind word or a sincere compliment can go a long way in carrying us through.
In a world where so many are quick to slam and slander, or give a bad review or rating, wouldn’t it be nice to turn the tide and join the campaign to compliment? Despite their power, words don’t cost us a cent. Let’s all make a concrete effort to use ours for the good, and brighten at least one person’s world each and every day.
Questions for Reflection:
* Am I as quick to compliment as I am to critique?
* Can I make it a point to sincerely compliment at least one person each day?