How do you respond when someone gives you a compliment? For some people, praise is nearly as difficult to handle as criticism. This can be especially true for believers since God’s Word instructs us to be humble (Col. 3:12). Yet we’ve all experienced how encouraging a word of praise can be. Most of us can remember a time when a parent, teacher, employer, or friend voiced approval that motivated us to even greater heights.
God knows that we all need encouragement, and one way He supplies this need is through the words of others. That’s why it’s important to address our confusion regarding the best way to give and receive compliments.
Acknowledge the comment by simply thanking the person. Don’t belittle their words in any way or explain reasons why you do not deserve them.
Identify the character quality that led the other person to offer praise. For example, does he have a discerning spirit, compassion, or strong love for others?
Share what the encouragement means to you. If someone tells you how he enjoyed your teaching, you might say, “That really motivates me to study harder so God can use me as He desires.”
When appropriate, include others in the praise. For instance, if you are complimented on something that was a group effort, be sure to acknowledge the contributions of the others. This not only encourages them but also protects you from pride.
Praise can help each of us become the person God intends us to be, or it can lead to the sin of pride. Our attitude and response are the determining factors.