How to Handle Praise (by Charles Stanley)
Proverbs 27:21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.
How do you respond when someone compliments you? Some people absolutely love receiving praise because it lifts their spirits and makes them feel valuable. Others are uncomfortable with it. They look down at their feet or offer reasons why they really don’t deserve such praise.
For Christians, there’s another dilemma. We’re called to be humble, so what are we to do when others say good things about us? Because pride is always waiting to raise its ugly head, we need to be careful not to let praise puff us up. Some believers think that accepting a compliment is a sign of pride, so they make a big show of giving all the glory to God. That’s fine, if it’s really what’s in their hearts, but too often it becomes a rote “Christian” response that’s geared to impressing others.
My advice is simply to say, “Thank you very much.” Then whisper a prayer in your heart to the Lord, thanking Him for the blessing, recognizing that anything worthy of praise ultimately comes from Him. If you felt encouraged, let the person know how the comment blessed you. If you receive praise for an achievement that was really a group effort, be sure to redirect the compliment to all those who were involved. A blessing is always more enjoyable when it’s shared.
Our character is tested by the praise that comes to us. Every compliment that bounces into our ears should quickly rebound up to the Father. If we hold onto it, the poison of pride will begin to infect our hearts. But if we pass the praise to God, humility takes up residence in our souls.
– from In Touch daily devotional