Monday, October 13, 2014

"Do You Have a Hard Time Accepting Praise?"

The other day, a colleague of mine casually mentioned that she meets regularly with a spiritual mentor. That was not surprising to me; many individuals have that special someone who helps them along in their spiritual journey. What did surprise me is the advice her spiritual advisor offered her, which of all things was to learn how to accept praise. Most of us struggle with criticism, but this is the first time I thought about the struggle to accept praise as related to one’s spiritual growth and maturity. It tossed for me a loop. 
Do you think most of us struggle with accepting praise? I don’t mean the shallow kind of praise that borders on being insincere and even hypocritical, but the real, pure, and genuine words of praise.

Why do we have such a difficult time accepting praise? Is it a cover-up so everyone will think we are humble? Do we think people are just being nice and don’t really mean it? Or does it go deeper? Do we have a hard time accepting praise because we have a hard time accepting ourselves and the imperfections in our lives? Do we feel we just aren’t good enough? Do we feel that regardless of what we do, we could have done better? Do we think we have to be perfect before we are worthy of praise?    

The Bible says, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything thing worthy of praise, think about these things.”  (Philippians 4:8)    

Perhaps that is the point: spiritual growth isn’t about perfection but is found whenever we do something that is truthful or honorable, promotes justice, brings joy to others, and is done with the purest of motives. When that happens it is worthy of praise! 

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