Gifts of Praise
There is a hunger is each one of us. It is a hunger of the heart but is no less compelling than the hunger of the stomach. It is the need for appreciation and praise. A philosopher once said, "We have an innate propensity to get ourselves noticed, and noticed favorably, by our kind." Mark Twain said it so simply, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."
No one can say how early in a child's life this hunger shows itself. It may even be that the first cry of a baby is the babies attempt to call for recognition and attention. The waves and shouts which every parent is so well acquainted with, the calls of "Hey Mom, watch me," and "Dad look at me," are as important to the proper development of the child as the food and shelter his parents provide.
We never outgrow this need, although as adults it may manifest itself in different forms, from the healthy accomplishments of high achievers to the sick needs of vandals and psychopaths crying out in their twisted way to be recognized.
Most of us seem to have been born with an ability to enjoy receiving praise, but giving praise may not come so naturally. There are however, a number of good reasons that we may want to develop this trait.
Most importantly, praising others takes our minds off ourselves...It has been said that a man wrapped up in himself makes a rather small package. Becoming aware of others snaps the strings of that very small package and allows us to grow.
A second benefit we reap is the healthy habit of looking for the good in the life of others. It is so easy in life for us to be critical and focus on the negative, and there are always quest
for the gossip mill if we seek to find it. There is, however, an abundance of good waiting to be gleamed.
The third gift waiting for the praise giver is the opportunity to participate in the finest creations the world has ever produced, because the highest manifestations of men's genius have been done in praise of the Lord and the appreciation of our fellow men. those whose hearts are turned to praise find a kindred spirit in these works and a deep "Amen" welling up within their souls.
For these and other reasons, then let us go forth proclaiming the praises of others and in the process bring peace and satisfaction to ourselves as well.
Pastor Hans Lillejord