What's In A Compliment?

November 8, 2008
by Rob Paxton

1 Corinthians 4:5b – When the Lord comes, he will turn on the light so that everyone can see exactly what each one of us is really like, deep down in our hearts. Then everyone will know why we have been doing the Lord's work. At that time God will give to each one whatever praise is coming to him. (TLB)

Throughout my 45 years of teaching, I have found that positive feedback, or an earned compliment, usually brought a positive response: a bright smile, a happy "Thank You!" and even tears!

Whenever a student, no matter how young or old, had done particularly well on a test, or in developing a "project", or simply in answering a challenging question, I tried to provide some kind of positive feedback. I also tried to be positive whenever a student showed better effort and attention, even if the end result was not what it might have been. I was, of course, trying to move my students to do their best.

Paul, in his letter to the church at Corinth, is trying to do the same thing: to encourage them to do their best. That is the least, and the most, that we can do for our God and Saviour. We all have different abilities and different levels of similar abilities, but we can all try to do our very best, no matter what task we are given.

Everyone, I believe, needs to hear a sincere, genuine compliment every now and then. It gives us a good feeling about ourselves and our efforts to serve others and to do well. What could possibly be the best compliment of all?

Could there be any greater compliment than this, from our heavenly Father, when we meet Him face to face: "Well done, my good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:23 NLT)

Let us always remember that our Lord will do everything He can to help us receive that compliment. Are we ready to do the rest?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit, thank You for giving us the privilege of serving You and Your kingdom. Please show us what we can do, give us strength to try and do it, and forgive us when we fail. We are trying to serve You as You would be served. Thank You for all Your blessings, and for giving us a divine purpose for our lives. Through Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Rob Paxton <robertgpaxton@sympatico.ca>
Little Current, Ontario, Canada

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