I like to watch award shows and last night’s Oscars had me glued to the TV. Most of the time I don’t have a point of reference or opinion on who is deserving of the awards because I haven’t seen the movies! I just love watching for the beauty, the performances and the outpouring of appreciation.
Definition: appreciation (noun) ə pri ʃi ei ʃn 1. Gratefulness; a feeling or expression of gratitude. 2. Positive opinion; a favorable opinion of something. 3. Valuing something highly; recognition and liking of something’s qualities. 4. Statement of praise; a written or spoken statement of somebody’s qualities. 5. Full understanding; a full understanding of the meaning and importance of something. 6. Growth in value; an increase in value, especially over time.
There are a lot of positive statements made at a big appreciation-fest like the Oscars. I always find it interesting how some people avoid watching it because of that. There are some that feel like there is something wrong with the very public display of praise, that somehow an award show devalues the actual accomplishment. I believe the reality isn’t that of inappropriate honor. I think those positive affirmations just make some people uncomfortable!
This is actually something I struggle with on a personal level. My gut reaction to a compliment for years has been “Oh no….not me!” or “You shouldn’t have.” . Sometimes my lack of acceptance of someone else’s praise hasn’t been looked at as humility or modesty, but as a disrespect of someone else’s opinion. I had to learn that my inability to accept someone else’s genuine compliment with a simple and sincere “Thank you.” is like looking at a birthday present and saying you don’t like and appreciate it.
Give thanks in all things, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thess 5:18
In the past I had read that verse and only thought of it as instruction on how to handle difficulties. It never occurred to me that where I would really struggle was with compliments! I find that God brings those compliments to show love and bolster support and encouragement. When I am sincere in a compliment towards another individual my intention is to have those words be appreciated and accepted. I want that person to feel good! Why should I expect the intention of the person complimenting me to be any different?
This acceptance speech policy I have learned to adopt has been a big epiphany for me on my road to optimism. There is such a thing as humble gratitude and it includes saying “Thank you.” and meaning it from the bottom of your heart. The benefit is not just for yourself, but for everyone around you. After all, no one compliments you and adores you more than God….and the praise is mutual!