Friday, August 12, 2016
Being a blessing thief
Too many people are like me. We have a hard time accepting a compliment. Example:
Person: "I really enjoyed your piano special this morning."
Me: "thanks, but my sister plays much better than me".
That IS true, she can play better than I can, and I have replied with that more than once in my life when someone complimented my piano playing.
And that isn't the only thing that I have been complimented on that I tried to deflect the compliment.
Why do we have a hard time just accepting a compliment with a simple "thank-you"?
One reason could be that we are raised to fight against pride, and we fear by just accepting the compliment, we will appear, or actually be, proud. For me, I have fought low self esteem and image all my life, it is actually hard for me to believe I am any good at something, and the people aren't just trying to be nice.
I was talking about this with someone recently, and they made a good point. They said something like this: "you not accepting compliments is a slap in the other persons face.. your making THEM feel bad for being kind to you. accept the gift they are giving... you would never just say no thanks at Christmas and birthday right? So often you don't want to be prideful but its not about YOU, think of how THEY feel, and get over yourself..." (Pretty much verbatim there)
They had a good point. We may as well tell them they are wrong, and don't know what they are talking about. Sound rude? We may not intend to be so, but we are being so. And maybe not all people giving the compliment will be bothered by that kind of response, but some will.
And it doesn't just happen with compliments. How many times in life has someone done something nice for you - bought you a coffee, gave you an unexpected gift, or something else along those lines, and you had a hard time just saying "thank-you." Usually it goes something like this:
"You shouldn't have!"
"I can't accept this."
Or something similar.
I like to do things for people. Just yesterday at work as I passed the small coffee shop in the main hallway, I decided to grab one of those drinks I shouldn't have, and also buy a hot chocolate for my friend Kay at the front desk. She was surprised and appreciated it, and she remarked that she knows I don't have a lot of money to be doing things like that, but she was just going to accept it and enjoy it. We briefly discussed what I am talking about in this post, and enjoyed our drinks.
When I do something for someone, whether it be a surprise gift, a milkshake, a coffee, or some good deed, I get a blessing from doing it. I enjoy doing these things. Several times I have paid for someone's food at the snack/coffee shop at work whether I know them or not...... and it feels good. Today at work, a gentleman I never saw before did it for me, and it felt good. I just thanked him and didn't try to talk him out of it, for I know what it feels like to do something like that and have the person try to refuse it.
And we could all do better in this area. Sure, there are greedy people out there who think they are owed, but there are also a lot of nice people who are thankful and appreciative of a small gesture of this kind..... and if you want them to just thankfully accept what you did, then do the same for others. If you protest a good deed, gift, or compliment, you are being a blessing thief... or trying to be one. You may not look at it that way, but you (and I) are doing exactly that. It feels good to do something nice for people, so if they do it for you.....thank them and let them. Don't tell them you can't accept it or that they shouldn't have....... just appreciate it and thank them.
Is it possible God feels the same way when we go on and on how we don't deserve His grace, mercy, and love? Could He be wishing we'd just accept it and thank Him?
This has made me think and decide to turn over a new leaf. From now on, when I receive a compliment, I shall just politely say "thank-you." It is NOT pride to do so, and it will make the other person feel better than if you shrug the compliment off. And if someone does something nice for me, I shall thank them and resolve to pay it forward. So someone else is better at it than you, or you made one mistake while playing or singing? So what. So the person may not have tons of money who bought you a surprise gift or coffee? So what. Get over yourself and accept the compliment. It is what you'd want done if you were complimenting or doing the good deed.