100_1568Approval, admiration, recognition: congratulations for doing well

The sweetest of all sound is praise. Xenophon

Good things should be praised. William Shakespeare

You may be liberal in your praise where praise is due; it costs nothing; it encourages much. Horace Mann  

  Praise is an abundantly renewable resource which is poorly utilized. When someone does something special or exemplary they should be praised. We should be quick to give it when deserved. Even though it costs nothing to give praise, it is not something to be wasted. We should use it wisely and intelligently. Praise is a little thing when given but reigns big in the hearts of those receiving it.

   We should not be motivated do things to receive praise. Our motivation should be to do things because they are right or need to be done.  We should not seek praise, but let it find us. If we do something praiseworthy, but praise does not come our way; we must be content knowing we have done well. We should always be humble and gracious. When we start praising our self, it is crossing the line to becoming a blow-hard and conceited.

   When friends or loved ones overcome obstacles, have significant victories or accomplishments; we should want to give them praise. They deserve it. We owe it to them. It is such a little thing, but it can prove to be very special to those receiving it. It tells them we care about them. We love attention and recognition. Some have a hard time accepting it, but it is still appreciated. Receiving praise from those that are important to us uplifts and makes us feel good. It encourages us to take on the next great challenge. Giving praise is positive reinforcement to go and do better. In training our children, a person at work, or even the family pet’ praising good behavior is likely to promote even more good behavior. Remember the good feelings that came from past accomplishments when they were praised by someone. Remember the smiles when we praise others.

   Jealously or envy should not prevent us from giving praise. Being resentful or bitter makes it difficult to give sincere praise. We must overcome such feelings and be motivated to do it enthusiastically and abundantly when deserved. The recipient gets a rich, warm and “fuzzy” feeling. We added something very special to their life. We help make the world little better for it. Last, but not least, we become a little better ourselves for having done it. It is a Win/Win/Win.  It is a little act of love. Do not let a day go by without giving a little praise.

Challenge: Look for the right opportunity to give praise to someone. Recognize their accomplishment by praising them. Be genuine and real in your effort. Be conscious of how the praise is received by the recipient. Be conscious of your feelings as you give it. You will likely cause them to feel good and you should feel good as well. If you cannot sincerely do this, it is telling you that you have some attitudinal issues that need addressing.

Wisdom: Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value to its scarcity. It becomes cheap as it becomes vulgar, and will no longer raise expectation or animate enterprise. Samuel Johnson.

Spiritual: (NIV)

Let man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. Proverbs 17:2

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15

Let them praise the name of the Lord; for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. Psalms 148:13

The more we walk with God, the more we will find ourselves praising him for his goodness and mercy. We will be enabled to give praise to others for their good deeds and accomplishments as well. This is the Golden Rule in action. It is also the “law of seeding”. When we sow and plant good seeds, we will reap a good harvest. When we are able to do this for others, as small as it may seem, it will come back and bless us richly. Learn to give praise.

Prayer: Help me to be a person who can lovingly give praise to others.                 



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