Handling Praise

Do you feel awkward when someone compliments you?

Proverbs 27:2

Think about a time when you received praise from a parent, a teacher, or an employer. How did you feel? Did it make you glad or uncomfortable? For many people, praise is nearly as difficult to handle as criticism. Because God’s Word instructs us to be humble (Matthew 18:4; Philippians 2:3), we may sometimes feel confused about how to receive compliments. Here are three ways to respond:

  1. Acknowledge the comment by thanking the person. Don’t explain why you are unworthy of praise or try to deflect such kindness. The Lord is using that person to bless you!
  2. Identify and acknowledge the character quality that led the other person to commend you. Perhaps he or she sees something you’ve missed (and that God wants you to be aware of). Remember, believers are called to “encourage one another and build one another up” in the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
  3. Share what the encouragement means to you personally. Scripture says that “pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). Tell the other person how much you’ve been blessed by his or her attention and care. After all, praise can go both ways.