How To Handle a Compliment


And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” Genesis 41:15-16

         False modesty plagues the church. So does insecurity. These appear God-honoring when, in fact, they rob God of opportunities to showcase His glory.

         When Pharaoh told Joseph that he had heard of his ability to interpret dreams, Joseph didn’t say that he wasn’t worthy of such attention. He stepped up to the plate and put God at the center of his answer. He made it clear that it would be God, working through him, to interpret the dreams.

         One of the biggest pitfalls of any platform person is succumbing to pride. Standing ovations, fan letters, and whispers of your name as you pass a group, all swell your sense of worth. I am sure that God gives major thorns in the flesh to visible leaders to counteract this. He makes sure that ministries are not ruined by inflated egos.

         Compliments are very hard to know how to handle.

“You’re such a great teacher.”

“You are one gifted manager.”

“No one can organize an event quite like you!”

         To simply say, ‘thank you’ can appear to mean, “I agree with you. I am this great.” Shouldn’t any child of God shun any kind of praise? But here’s another question, shouldn’t any child of God realize that what people often praise are the anointed giftings that are straight from God’s own hand? If I keep telling people that their observations about me are inflated or untrue, I’m missing the opportunity to tell them how great God is. When I say, “It’s not me, it’s God,” that’s not true either. I am part of the equation. I have embraced the gift, developed it by His grace, and dedicated it to the glory of God. It is God – in and through me.

         So what is a good alternative? Let’s say that you teach a small group. It is being blessed and people are growing. One night after the meeting ends, someone comes to you and says, “You are such an anointed facilitator. I’ve never understood this much about Jesus before.” You answer by saying this. “I’m so encouraged to hear this. Thank you for telling me. Please pray for me that I would always depend on Jesus in my teaching. He is so gracious to give me this opportunity.”

         No matter where we excel, people should know that ‘we know’ the gift came from God. The grace to do it well is because of His faithfulness.

         One final thing. You and I should know and acknowledge where we are gifted. If we fail to know, how can we be effective? Is it possible to name 3 things you can do well and still be humble when giving God the glory for it? Absolutely.

I am confident today because of Your anointing. I’ve lived without it and there was no spiritual power. You are at the center of all I am and I am nothing without you. Amen

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