Thursday, December 5, 2013

Please Take a Compliment

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Knock. Knock.

Anybody there? I'm back!

It's been awhile since I wrote. (Yikes! July 29?  That was two seasons ago -- literally!)

I was deep in to the Book of Esther, studying, writing and teaching for the Women's Bible study at our church, looking at the Evidence of God's Providence -- not only throughout the story, but in our own lives. I'm sure I'll share more thoughts with you in the weeks to come. I learned a lot!

And I was busy with our Women's Christmas Tea.  Can I just say this? Working with the women at my church and ministering together is such an amazing experience. I cherish how God works in and through His people, as we share our gifts and serve Him.

I will say, though, I've had a lot of ideas bouncing around in this ole' noggin, waiting to get out.  I hope to access them out of my mental hard drive and boot them up, soon!

But for starters, I've been thinking about compliments.  Recently, my friend Amanda spoke on 'insecurities,' pointing out that, for many of us, it's hard to receive a compliment.  We minimize it, dismiss it, rationalize it, or even try and deny it. Yep. I'm guilty of this. Are you?

In response to listening to her speak, by friend Becca told me a story. (You can read more about her and her passion for health HERE).  At day, acknowledging the hesitation of humans to receive a compliment, she decided to do something different.  She printed off a pack of posters, and put them in coffee shops and spots around town.

She offered people a chance to -- Please Take a Compliment.

They had a choice.  No strings attached.  No verbal responses required.  They could just take a compliment by ripping off a little piece of paper on the poster, each offering a different compliment.

You are brave.  You are a great listener.  You made my day. I lover your persistence. You make me happy.  You are lovely. I like your dress. You have great taste.  I appreciate you. Your hair looks nice.

And then, awhile later, she went back to check out the posters, and you know what?  People had taken a compliment.  We don't know what they did with it. Maybe they walked around that day, smiling silently, cherishing a truth about them selves.  Or, maybe they passed it on.

Either way, people took a compliment.

I wonder.  Were they in need of a compliment?  Were they bone dry?  Had it been awhile since anyone noticed them?  Were they feeling down in the dumps that day?  Were they lonely?  Sad?  Feeling ordinary and not special?  Maybe it was easier for them to take it anonymously?  Easier to take one if they didn't feel compelled to explain it?

I don't know, but it has me thinking -- we need each other.  God gives us each other.

So, let's give and receive compliments -- freely.  Let's encourage one another, honestly, earnestly, truthfully, openly, frequently, not to flatter, but to build up and breath life in to.  Let's look for opportunities from the Lord AND let's also receive His gifts.  Let's work on receiving a compliment from someone, without feeling guarded, or insecure or weird.  Maybe, just maybe, the Lord is using someone to encourage our hearts today, if we would only allow Him to.  And maybe He's using us to do the same.

So, please take a compliment.  I may not know you, but I know Who does, and I think that you are an amazingly beautiful, valued creation, loved by the Father and made for a purpose!

Take that -- and believe it.  It's true!  (And then pass it along, too)!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said. It kind of goes back to what we were taught when we were young. Say thank you in the moment, and then reflect on the meaning in one's own time. The traditional lessons we learned as children of being polite in company were not without merit. Perhaps we just needed to experience more of life to understand those lessons. Welcome back, dear!

-Brennan

Andrea K. Van Ye said...

thanks, cuz! good to hear from you!

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