How to Receive Compliments

3 Mar

Here’s a helpful article by  Andy Naselli on how to receive compliments well.

  1. Thank the person for taking the time to encourage you. I don’t have to evaluate the accuracy of their encouragement. All I know is that they made a point to express gratefulness when they didn’t have to say anything.
  2. If the compliment is vague, ask for clarification. We’re not fishing for more praise; it’s just that it helps to know how God specifically worked in a person’s heart. You might respond, “Thanks so much! So what is it about the meeting that encouraged you?” If someone isn’t really sure what they liked, or if their second answer is just as vague (“It was just cool”), I usually say, “Great!” Not every interaction needs to be profound.
  3. Express gratefulness for the opportunity to serve. My most common response to encouragement is, “It’s a privilege and a joy.” Because it is. God is giving me grace to follow the example of Paul who said, “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). More importantly, we’re declaring our allegiance to the Savior who came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45).
  4. Draw attention to the contributions of others. Most of the time when people encourage me, they’re unaware of the parts others played. I can increase their awareness. “I’m just grateful to be on this team; these guys practice so hard.” One of the best ways to turn awkwardness into gratefulness is to remember how God has used others in my life. And when I’m actively looking for evidences of grace in other people, I have less time to think about myself.
  5. Internally and intentionally “transfer the glory to God.” That’s a phrase I first learned from C. J. Mahaney, who was quoting the Puritan pastor Thomas Watson. It means acknowledging that any benefit or fruit is because of his grace, and therefore all the glory is completely and rightfully his. It’s not mine. So at some point after the meeting, possibly when you’re driving home, it’s wise to specifically give thanks to God and give him glory for all that you’ve received encouragement for.

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