I don't know about you, but I love it when someone compliments me. And I receive such pleasure from affirming another. It simply feels good.
Can you imagine going around criticizing everything you see another do? Can you imagine finding nothing nice to say about a day in your life? I can't.
There's so much negativity in the world. I suppose that's why Paul encouraged us to dwell on that which is positive. If there is anything pure and worthy of praise, think on that! Oh, how I love that phrase. It always reminds me to "count my blessings". Sometimes I wonder how much better off the world would be if everyone purposed in their hearts and minds to compliment ten people a day.
When I was a youth leader, I use to give my youth 10 kernels of popcorn. I told them they could throw them away when they saw someone do something kind and told that person they saw it. I told them to make every effort to watch for times when goodness was visible. When we had a youth event, they were to give the kernel to the other person each time they wanted to encourage them for something. No words were necessary. They just handed each other kernels of corn. It was really wonderful to watch them encouraging each other and looking for the positive in one another.
As a child I lived with constant criticism. I mean constant. I didn't like being me as a child. The seeds sown in my life grew into thoughts of inferiority and unloveliness. If not for the sovereign protection of my Lord, I probably would still be wallowing in self-loathing. But God sent folks into my life (mostly through church, and Christian school-teachers) who planted seeds of affirmation that contradicted the criticism of my parents.
I think about that each time I see a child in the hallways or in a pew at church. I think about that when I watch them walk down the street in front of my house, or down an aisle at Wal-Mart. I think about that when I have a waitress I could disparage or a clerk I could chastize. I even think about that when I get ready to hang up on a telemarketer. Has anyone said anything kind to them today? Will I? Will you? selahV
[copyrighted, SelahV Today, 2008]