Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to offer encouragement to one person by giving them a compliment about their character.
Often times when we think of a compliment we think of a simple statement that says something good about a person. Phrases such as “Nice Shirt”, “Good Job” and “Well Done” may come to mind. These are light and fluffy, and ever so closely approach a line of flattery. Flattery is not our challenge this week.
Webster.com defines a compliment as an “expression of esteem, respect, affection or admiration” or as a form of “formal and respectful recognition.” The challenge this week is to speak words of life that come from a richness and depth of honor for the person we are complimenting.
This is the final challenge in the Mission Encouragement series. It is hard to believe that six weeks have gone by already. It is my great hope that these weeks have allowed each of us to shine a bit of encouragement into our daily lives with a warmth of love to melt away the cold, allowing a new growth of joy to begin sprouting. May this joy continue to prosper and bring forth bountiful bouquets of delight in coming weeks and months.
Here are the previous challenges in case you missed one or just want to look back for review:
Joy of a Shared Prayer Joy of Little Treats Delightful to Hear Your Voice Joy of an Unexpected Card Text Some Joy
This week’s challenge: Compliment the Character of One Person
One Person: To give an honest, honoring and respectful compliment that will hopefully offer encouragement and support, we will focus our energy on just one person. It is our hope that there will be a rich value in our compliment and that it will strengthen the connection we share with them.
The One to Honor: Who do you respect? Who do you admire? Who do you love? It is easy to get caught up in the pace and pursuit of life’s daily to do list, who can you give pause to with your compliment? Who could use some recognition?
Who faithfully serves in a quiet manner not looking for attention? The stars and the slackers in life tend to get a great deal of attention from the world, but there are so many sweethearts serving faithfully in the middle to whom a little attention can go a long way. Is there someone in that middle ground that you could take notice of this week?
An Honest Expression of Esteem: Honesty is the best policy for avoiding flattery. We want our expressions to be grown from the heart to offer lasting encouragement not comments conjured up for quick firework effects.
What is it that causes you to respect your honoree? What is it about their character that you admire? What actions have you witnessed them living out that causes you to have affection specifically for them?
Be Specific: Blanket statements are easy to make. Like when people say, “I love everything about you.” That is an easy statement. It covers everything. It does not, however, exhibit a willingness to notice the specifics about a person. It takes time and tender observation to be specific.
Here are some examples of specific compliments.
- Telling a spouse, “I love how I can catch you smiling in your sleep. I am grateful for the opportunity to see you enjoying your rest because I know that you have been working so hard for our family.”
- Commenting to a child, “I noticed you showing a great deal of care putting the dishes away after dinner. I appreciate how you handled yourself and I am so proud of you for making that choice.”
- Praise for a Friend, “I am grateful for the way that you listen intently and respond courteously with grace when I share my struggles with you. Thank you for being a safe place to share.”
- Remark for a Colleague, “I admire your flexibility and adaptability when things quickly change in our daily schedule. You handle the stress with such poise and with a calming presence. It impacts those around you more than you may realize.”
Prayer for You:
Thank You so much for my treasured readers. They are such an encouragement to me, and they may not even know that. Lord, Proverbs 15:23 from the Good News Translation is resounding in my mind today, “What a joy it is to find just the right word for the right occasion!” How true that is.
This week may not be filled with grand occasions, but each day has opportunity to speak grand compliments into the lives of those around us. Please help us to not just quietly observe the good things taking place in our corners of the world, but may we spread joy as we pause to give recognition through our words.
May our efforts this week shower our days with esteem, respect, affection and admiration for those around us.
In the most honorable name of Jesus, amen.