rebelling against low expectations

How should we respond to “Christian” praise?


MEGAN WRITES: I really struggle with pride a lot – and I can even struggle with feeling prideful about being “humble” (which isn’t really humility at all). Pride is an area of my life I’m praying through and I feel like God is working to change me, but I still have a long, LONG way to go. I’m still very weak in this area.

My question is this: If someone pays me a compliment such as, “You are such a wonderful Christian girl and God is doing amazing things through you …” and goes into all these details of things God has done in my life, how should I appropriately respond?

I really want to give the glory to the Lord for everything he’s doing in my life! I TRULY do! So is it prideful to say something like, “Yes! God IS doing amazing things in/through me!” When I say that, I feel like I’m being prideful, but am I?

On the reverse side, is it wrong to downplay compliments people give me along those same lines by saying something like, “Well, I don’t know … I mean, God is doing far more amazing things in other people’s lives!” because then it feels like I’m downplaying God’s work in my life.

How do I respond to compliments when people are recognizing God’s work in my life without downplaying what God is doing? And how do I do this without being prideful and giving glory to myself?

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  • Be grateful and gracious to the person in public, then don’t bring it up again or let it go to your head. 🙂

    Hope this helps.

  • Just say that it was all the FATHER and nothing to do with you. And don’t drag on the subject, change the subject and remember that it was GOD working through you and not you no your own.

  • Always focus on God and he will work through you. Renew your mind to the word of God and let him flow through you. He will work in you. If you are saved than you have the spirit of God in you. Be thankful and thank them and say that the Father Jesus Christ through you is what they see not me. Than you are giving him the glory and you are truly humble.

  • @Faith B. nailed it. Just to add to that, if they make habit of complementing you and it’s getting dangerous, it might help to ask them to stop. Explain why, and ask them to hold you accountable. I haven’t tried this yet, but I hope this helps!

  • Over morning tea on Sunday, the pianist at my church was praised for his great playing during the service. He said, “Thanks for the encouragement.” I thought that was a good answer – it deflected the attention away from him without making the other guy feel uncomfortable by downplaying the praise altogether.

  • Our struggle with pride is rooted in our fear that we are not loved enough by God. Therefore we try to seek that love and acceptance from other people. Our sufficient God is our perfect lover and we cannot seek insufficient love from imperfect people. It won’t fulfill us…
    But yes, Sam G.’s answer is suffice. “Thank you for the encouragement.”
    Like my youth pastor let me teach a lesson at youth group and afterwards I was highly tempted to take all the credit and do the fake “Oh it was all God” even though in my heart I was like “Yes I am so awesome.” I was distracted and so while people praised me I set my heart fully on His glory and said “Thank you. I’m glad God encouraged you through my message:)” Check the motives of your heart and set your sights on the Lord.
    Remind yourself of the verse in Psalm 16:2 “Apart from the Lord, I have no good thing.”

  • Hey Megan, you’re not the only one who goes through the same struggle. As far as I’ve observed, I think it would be best to emphasize more on God. I had a classmate who often replies, “To God be the glory” whenever complimented. Sure, it sounds somewhat too religious or whatnot. But one can eventually begin to understand why. Because it is REALLY GOD. At the same time, the compliments we receive serve as encouragements that boost us to continue being a blessing to others. It would be nice if you’ll also acknowledge that as you express your gratitude. 🙂

  • You are such a wonderful Christian girl and God is doing amazing things through you …”

    this is hard to respond to but what i would say is just simply thank you people shouldn’t boast that they are doing something that is good in God’s eyes because he sees what is being done in secret and no one else needs to know, it doesn’t matter that people will think better of you if they know you fast or read the bible every day because God, judgment is the only one that matters and his verdict surpasses any verdict earthly “judges” could give you

rebelling against low expectations

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