Acts 20:33-35, ‘I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Paul amazes me. He didn’t covet or HAVE to have praise from other men. All he lived for after Christ confronted him on the Damascus road was to please Christ. For this brother, to live was Christ. To die was gain and to be with Christ.
That’s why I picked this passage here from Acts 20:33-35. Paul didn’t covet anybody else’s stuff. Yet people ministered to him; different churches ministered to him throughout his ministry of Christ. And he didn’t refuse their ministry. He didn’t refuse their love. Look through his epistles, and you’ll see how thankful he was for their love.
Philippians 4:10-14, ‘
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last yourc] care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to d]be abased, and I know how to e]abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through f]Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.’
This leads me to today’s topic. As someone who has struggled for so long with body image, with not appreciating the gifts God has given me, with feeling guilty when I’m ‘good at something’, I’m learning lately that it is NOT sinful to receive a compliment.
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Why should we receive a compliment and how can we do that humbly as a Christian?
– Because God gave that person that compliment to give to you, and to not receive that from them would be like taking away that blessing of giving a compliment.
– Because to just brush off their compliment would ignore an opportunity to give God the glory for that gift.
– Because that person wants to love on you, and if you don’t receive that love, how can you receive the even greater love of God for you?
So then I have a question for you.
How will you receive a compliment the next time someone gives you one?
“Hey, I love your outfit.”
“Thank you so much for your kindness towards my children. They really love you.”
“That cake was AMAZING; I don’t think I’ve had better.”
“Thank you for being my friend. Your listening ear is such a gift.”
Will you brush it off like I’ve been guilty of? Or will you take it like a precious gift and offer it up to the Lord? Will you say, ‘Thank you!’ and remember that that gift is from the Lord, that He gets all that glory for that gift with kids, baking, friendship, putting together outfits.
1 Peter 4:10, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Use those gifts you’ve received. PRAISE God for them. And when someone gives you that compliment, you don’t need to brush it off, but you can take it and point it upwards to the only, best, most wonderful Giver.
How are you about receiving a compliment? Is it hard for you?
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