Nice shoes. You’re a genius at math.
At this past week’s meeting, we continued to bring up ways we can honor others as well as WHY we, as Christians should honor others.
We brainstormed several legit reasons why we show honor to those around us. Reasons like:
- we respect them
- we learn from them
- they show us love or respect
- we know they care for us
And we had some other reasons that were more in the category of ulterior motives:
- Like respecting rich people because there’s something possible for you in return (money, opportunity, status, etc)
- or teachers because your grade or how you’re treated might depend on it
- or police because you really would like to avoid being arrested or given a ticket
- or your parents even! because you might be expecting them to allow you particular privileges or buy you something you’re wanting
But we really should honor others for three simple reasons.
- We are all made in God’s own image
- We are commanded to respect and build up our brothers and sisters in Christ
- And others have their own way and purpose for contributing to God’s church
Of course, not everyone’s a believer or Christ follower. So look that that first one. Most of my Facebook friends fall into this one more than the other two. (made in God’s own image).
So we discussed one of the ways we can honor others: compliments. (re: Moses in Numbers 10:29-32)
We listed compliments that many of you had delivered just within the last 24 hours. Most were things like
nice shoes, nice hair, nice shirt, nice pants, nice bag, you’re cute/good-looking…
How much would it show someone that you’re really taking an interest in them if you had something to say that was a bit deeper? Don’t get me wrong. those compliments listed are good – maybe there’s someone in your class that just needs someone to reach out to them and sometimes the simplest way to do it is with a simple compliment to break the ice and possibly start a new relationship.
But we also talked about ‘sincerity.’ This is tougher. Remember Paul telling the Romans what love was really like? (Romans 12:9-13) That it’s not just polite, but sincere. Like people in ANY relationship to develop and strengthen their bond to each other, it takes time – and so to truly love and honor people sincerely, I believe, takes a serious investment of time and practice (and prayer). BUT deeper compliments do not necessarily take a deeper relationship; I think they take a deeper level of paying attention; more effort to take notice of something about them…
So don’t beat yourself up for doing a little self-analysis and coming up short. “Am I sincere? Or was I just being polite when pretending to listen to her problems? Oh no. I can’t even remember. I think I was distracted by the lunch bell.”
I’m closing out with an excerpt from one of our very own iNam students. I was discussing with Ivan how he and his brothers would describe each other. He shared some deeper things. Obviously, he lives under the same roof with them so he knows them well – their weaknesses but especially their strengths. And he chooses to pull out their strengths in our interview.
He doesn’t just say “he’s good at…”. He says, “[Rico’s] a genius!” and “That’s just a gift.” What great ways to show honor. These were true, sincere compliments.
So… think about it. We have plenty of “starter” or “ice-breaker” compliments to give out. But what can you say, right to someone’s face, to let them know that you’ve noticed something about them, something that God had designed about them – what can you say about it?
Who are you thinking of?
What is it about them?