For those of us out there that have a hard time accepting compliments, can you tell me what you think of this thought in the comments?
I know that at times, I find it difficult to accept praise. For whatever reason, when people identify good in me, or see a trait they want to classify as good, I only partially appreciate it. It’s not that I’m trying to be ungrateful, but I try to be agnostic of other’s opinions. When the tide changes and when what you once called good is suddenly what’s bad in me, my identity will not be shaken.
As individuals, we all have a mismatched assortment of traits. People’s greatest flaws are often their greatest kindness, in and out of balance. When a person is angry at you and in order to bother you, interprets a trait that can really go either way as a bad thing, how exactly do you deal with that? When they take a trait that can be a bad thing as good, should it move mountains in your heart when their perspective is really all that’s changed?
I appreciate it when others are willing to see good in me. I do. I appreciate that they took time to tell me something nice, and had the desire to make me feel special. To be honest, the specific assortment of personality traits in me doesn’t change. What does change is how people desire to view it, and what attitude we invite into our hearts.
If you desire to see good in people, you will see it. If you desire to see the negative aspects of their traits, you will focus more on those. May the Lord judge correctly, and may we be free to be agnostic of all other opinions. I believe that Christ is the only true judge of this world, and it’s better to not create a sense of identity explicitly tied to the world, when nearly everything is passing away to begin with. It’s enough that someone wants to be kind to me and see good things in me. It’s like when you are a kid, and you have to articulate for the first time what sets you apart from other people. “I know that I’m good at math/writing/the monkey bars, but I don’t know what makes me _____ kind of person.” We all teach our children to declare a sense of identity when even though as children, it means more that people want to play with us and be kind to us than what exactly we or they are. We concoct all these different terms for identity when all everybody wants is to be loved. To a certain extent, our differences are obvious. In skin color, in income, in personality, in decisions, the differences between people are lived out very clearly. How we feel about those differences is really what matters, and whether or not we’re willing to see the good in people. Each person is able, but few are willing.
I believe that God loves all people. The people who are able to accept Jesus his son and actually experience that love and live in it are few. The people who are willing to make peace and be seen as peacemakers are few. The people who are willing to sacrifice for the things they care about are few. Unless we all decide to do better starting with the places we each influence, the world wont change. And if it does change, it will mostly stay the same, but we as individuals will see it completely differently.
Perspective and faith are more important that differences and identity. It means so much more to have the desire to be kind than to have to tie your kindness to anything.