The other day I was incredibly blessed to receive one of the top compliments that I have ever received in my life. It came in an email from a friend. It stopped me in my tracks. It made me smile, but also made me cry – all good tears. I was just so overwhelmed and shocked at the meaning in the words.
In total, the entire phrase was only 39 words long. Each individual speaks or writes thousands of words every day. This is such a small fraction of the total on one small day. It probably took only moments to formulate and moments to type, but it will resonate in my heart and soul for exponentially longer. Hopefully it is a glorious treasure stored for me in Heaven where I can cherish it for all of eternity.
Stop for a moment and think of some of the best compliments that you have every received.
When did you receive them?
Who did they come from?
How did they make you feel?
What impact did they have upon your day?
I have noticed that the best compliments are the deepest compliments. Surface level flattery seems quick and easy to brush off. It sticks around momentarily, perhaps causing us to pause, but quickly becomes something we flew by on our journey.
Deep compliments on the other hand can stop us right where we are. Sometimes it is from disbelief, as if we can’t be hearing what we just heard or seeing what we just saw. Sometimes it stops us more because we are in a state of awe and wondering, could someone really believe that about me? Is it really true?
Words have power. There is no doubt about it; power to give life refreshingly or to violently beat it away.
“Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim” Proverbs 15:4 Message
I have to admit that the words I have spoke and written have cut, wounded and maimed in ways that I am absolutely ashamed of. They are some of my greatest sins.
I deeply long in my heart to speak and write words that are kind, that heal and that help. I am frequently asking God to help me with my words. It seems the times that I do not seek Him are the times where I get myself into the deepest trouble, allowing my words to reign with terror.
I have also been on the receiving side of wounding words. I have allowed hurtful words to echo through my heart, my head and my spirit. I believe I was even amplifying them by the amount of time, energy and effort that I have poured over them worrying and anxiously revisiting them.
I am so grateful and appreciative for the deep compliments that I have received, for words of life that have rejuvenated me and diminished the volume of the hurtful words, like the ones that I have recently received. They have truly been a beautiful gift in my life, precious treasures which I cherish.
I want to challenge myself, and to ask you to join with me in my challenge, who can we compliment today in a way that is kind, healing and helpful?
Thank You so very much for being the Author of our faith. Thank You for giving us the amazing gift of words and of Your Word. Please help us to use our words to be kind, to heal and to help. Please protect us from our sinful selves and our ability to wound, maim & cut with our words. May we be able to give compliments in a way that refreshes and renews those around us.
May we also be blessed to be the recipients of deep compliments which renew our hearts and help us to persevere on our journeys. May they stop us and slow us down, allowing us time to be in awe and wonder. May it drown out some of the negative in our lives and may it encourage us to carry on for another day.
In Jesus’ Holy name, amen.