A couple of months ago, I was given the high honor of being asked to come up with something for the stage for Little Drummer Boy. I listened to the arrangement that the choir would be singing, then gave the Worship Pastor my initial ideas. He wanted to run with it. So I brought in several people to help and we came up with a neat production of Little Drummer Boy. I’m not sure if any of us expected it to go as well as it did, but everyone did an amazing job. Afterwards the worship pastor congratulated me on everything going well. I’m not really sure what I said. I can’t remember if I acknowledged the compliment or not! I’m really, really terrible at taking a compliment. I know that I should just smile and say “Thank you,” but in the moment I always feel embarrassed and undeserving. I haven’t thought much about it except that people don’t like to have their compliment rebuffed. But recently I read this:
But humility does not deny the evidences of His gracious work in us and through us. To do so would be to dishonor Him as much as to ascribe the cause and results of His working to ourselves.
Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace
Wow. When someone compliments me on something that He has given or done in me and I am unwilling to accept the compliment, it is the same as saying that it’s not true — denying it. And that brings Him dishonor! So while it is true that I, myself am undeserving of any compliment, He deserves all honor for all His gracious gifts. And if I am to honor Him, then when His work in and through me is acknowledged by another, then I should be grateful for the person’s encouragement. And return the compliment to the God of all grace in praise and worship to Him!
My example was in regard to something pretty obviously from the Lord. But what about a more personal compliment? Such as someone saying, “You look really pretty today.” I say that even that is the grace of God on you. And it may be His radiance shining through you!
With this in mind, I am going to work over the next few weeks on accepting compliments properly. Knowing that I may not deserve the compliment, but that God, in His abundant grace, has chosen to pour some out on me and He deserves all praise and honor.
Daniel 4:37 (Emphasis added)