My friend, may I ask you a question? Why is it so hard to give praise to others when we are so practiced in receiving it ourselves? Is it because we are the ones looking to get praise or are we just trying to ration it in case some might be need at a later date when none is to be had?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Those who know me know that I am seldom at a loss for words. If there's an opinion to be discovered, mine is probably lying there, out on the table, just waiting to be examined. Expressing what we believe or what we desire is usually pretty easy for most of us to do. That's human nature. We like being stroked and, for that matter, stroked as often as possible. Like that old dog lying on the porch, we roll over and invite the scratching, petting and kind words. But, when it comes to others and their need for our praise and appreciation, we suddenly become mute, even at a loss for words. Like that old dog, after we get all that attention we simply reassume our nap with not so much as a lick or a wagging tail to show our gratitude for the kind treatment we'd received.
Why is it so hard to give praise to others when we are so practiced in receiving it ourselves?
Here's a story: "It may be that praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value to its scarcity, as Samuel Johnson said, but most of us would prefer to err on the side of giving too much praise than too little. One who would agree was the wife of an old Vermonter named Eb. Old Eb was, like many of his breed, rather stingy with words. He said very little and rather grudgingly. One evening he was sitting on the front steps with his wife. The long day's work, the good supper, and the peaceful sights and sounds of dusk must have softened him up a bit. He took his pipe out of his mouth and said, "When I think of what you've meant to me all these years, Judith, sometimes it's almost more than I can stand not to tell you. So, he didn't." (Bits & Pieces, October, 1989, p. 8.)
Rationing our praise, keeping it under wraps so that it might not become too expected or less than genuine may be noble and well meant, but it really doesn't do much for relationships. A simple "thank-you" from time to time or even just a touch of the hand gently on a shoulder sends a powerful message to those we love. "You are appreciated and I want you to know that what you do for me has not gone unnoticed." That's a pretty powerful message when you think about it. Being at a loss for words when it comes to appreciation isn't in any way sensible or practical. There's never any excuse for being mute when others are in need of our appreciation and praise. There's something about a dog that wags its tail and turns and gives you a lick when you've scratched his belly. Unlike Old Eb; if you have a mind to give some praise, remember–keeping it to yourself satisfies no one but yourself.
We pray. Heavenly Father, “We thank You our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ Your precious Son, that You have graciously kept us this night from all harm and danger. Keep us this day also from sin and every evil, that all our doing in life may please You. In Your hands we commit our bodies and souls and all things. Let Your Holy Angel be with us, that the wicked foe may have no power over us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.” (Luther’s morning prayer adapted)
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.