Have you ever paid attention to how you respond to compliments?
I have terrible responses – both internally and externally. Recently, someone complimented me on how I looked that day to which I responded internally: “Ugh, I look terrible. I still don’t know for sure if these pants are black or blue and I haven’t had time to tame this curly mane in weeks!” Externally, I said: “Haha, I spilled coffee on this shirt two minutes into my drive this morning… see the stain?”
Yep. That’s usually how it goes when a compliment arises – lots of internal and external justifications and explanations. I’m not sure if this began as an attempt at false humility but I’m pretty sure it’s just habit now.
And I’m also pretty sure I’m not the only one that does this.
The truth is, if I can’t take human compliments well, how much harder must it be to take compliments from God! Maybe that’s why praying is so difficult sometimes especially when we come to prayer hurting or full of shame or dripping with regret.
I saw this quote posted last week @henrinouwensociety, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m not sure I ever thought of prayer as a time when God wants to say good things about me.
And if this is true, what is my response? Is it to add noise so I can distract myself from the message? Is it to talk on and on about how I’ve messed up or how I’m not worthy? Is it to deflect and talk about other people instead?
Or is it to sit silently and listen?
My prayer this morning is that we can accept the compliments of God (especially those complements that come through the mouths of others) with a simple “thank you” both inside and out.