Friday, March 24th, 2006

People tend to have a hard time receiving compliments and correction. When complimenting someone it’s not uncommon for them to deny the compliment, saying something like “No, no, I’m really not X.” The form this takes among pious Christians cautious to avoid the appearance of enjoying the compliment is, “It’s not me. It’s God.” There is some merit to this response, but often it is little more than a false humility we are putting forth. Why can’t we acknowledge our part, and thank the person for their compliment, all the while giving the glory to God? Other people receive compliments so well that they go to their head. Why do we have such a hard time receiving compliments in a balanced and godly manner?



For most people correction is much more difficult to receive than a compliment. Why? Because no one likes to be wrong, yet alone be told they are wrong. While part of our response to correction may depend on how the correction was delivered, the other part is dependent on our personality and human nature. How do we hear and receive correction with a Christ-like attitude? How can we overcome our natural tendency to become defensive and/or angry with those who correct us?



What I want you to chime in on, then, is the following questions: What advice do you have on how to receive a compliment, and how to receive correction? What are some basic principles we might follow? What are some basic “responses” that will allow us to comfortably receive compliments and correction without being vain or contentious? Any thoughts?

Should we tolerate hatred and racism? Should we tolerate rape and pedophilia? No. Not even postmodernists would be willing to say yes to this. Clearly, then, tolerance has its limits. John Locke argued that while there is much we should tolerate, there remain some things that are simply intolerable. Our job is to figure out which is which. One thing is clear: tolerance is not a blank check to allow any sort of behavior that man may choose to engage in.