From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
During Thanksgiving, I preached two sermons on the power of gratitude. In the series, I helped us understand that gratitude has two components.
First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.
The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. When we are grateful and thankful, we recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves, in which we might take pride. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others. We acknowledge that other people—or even God—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.
While preaching the second sermon, I told the congregation that I would post in my Living Strong segment for December 1 some thoughts on the power of a compliment. Here are my thoughts on the subject. I hope it inspires you toward gratitude.
The Power of a Compliment
When Mark Twain said, "I can live two months on a good compliment," he only told half the story.
While the person who receives the praise enjoys feeling noticed and valued (and is motivated to do more of the same), the giver can also bask in the connection.
With every compliment given, a bond is strengthened, trust is built, and conversation encouraged. Potent stuff!
DO’S AND DON’T’S
Here are five do’s and don’ts to make the most of giving and receiving of admiration:
- DO be genuine. False praise is easy to spot, and it undermines your trustworthiness.
- DON’T give back-handed compliments such as, "You throw a ball well for a girl."
- DO be as specific as possible. Vague: "I like how you redid your living room." Specific: "I like the color choice of your living room walls. It’s a perfect accent with the rug and drapes."
- DON’T brush off a compliment given to you. It’s like returning a gift.
- DO smile and say, “Thank you,” when you receive a compliment.
Folks, cultivating and growing good relationships is not rocket science! Gratitude is an attitude, gratitude is a choice, and gratitude is a habit. When we consciously practice being grateful for the people, situations, and resources around us, we begin to attract better relationships and results. The habit will be strengthened as you make the choice each day.
Practicing gratitude helps you extract the most out of life.
On to Victory,
Published on Friday, December 5, 2014 @ 11:07 AM CDT