Why is it so hard to take a compliment?

Until recently, I really didn’t think my reluctance to accept compliments was a big deal. I always thought that I had to avoid coming across as pompous and self-important. And apparently, a significant number of people are either generally or in specific situations unable to accept compliments for pretty much similar reasons. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there were several postings online that addressed this particular issue.

Interestingly, this reluctance to accept compliments also features in the Bible.

Gideon was called the mighty man of valour (Judges 6:11-18).

Mary was called called the blessed one.

Yet both were troubled because God spoke to them positively.

Zachariah actually went blind for a few months when he doubted God’s blessing (Luke 1:5-25).

That got me thinking: how prepared was I to receive a defining compliment from God? If God called me blessed, highly favoured, a mighty man of valour, man after God’s heart, how would I react?

In Ephesians 1:8, the Bible says:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places(ESV)

Every spiritual blessing. This means that every spiritual blessing that God has ever pronounced on mankind is also mine in Christ.

Imagine this. God blessed Adam. God blessed Abraham. God blessed Jacob. God blessed Gideon. God blessed David. The list gets longer.

Above everyone else, God blessed His Son, Jesus Christ.

This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.

As we approach Christmas time, I want us to be reminded of Mary. In Luke 1:28, we learn of an angel who came to Mary with a greeting.

And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”(ESV)

The greeting troubled her perhaps from a different perspective. I really still can’t tell you if God showed up and told me I was blessed I could take it well, even after reading these Scriptures several times. Yet every spiritual blessing God has ever pronounced in the Bible is yours and mine. Can you find other blessings in the Bible that are yours that you need to be familiar with?

My favourite one is this one: I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b, ESV) Unconditional.

It’s my prayer that we begin to know our inheritance in Christ. When we know, we can be open to accept it. When God compliments us, we should learn to accept it.

God goes out of His way to tell us of His blessings towards us because He wants us to harbour higher expectations of Him, not lower. Without these high expectations, a.k.a. faith, we cannot please God.

Take time to be intentional and name all your blessings, you blessed and highly favoured one!

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