“COMPLIMENTS ARE FREE.” Profound isn’t it? This statement, as simple as it may be, struck me with deep conviction when I read it several months ago.

Compliments are free. So why don’t we give them away? Why do we leave so many kind things unsaid? Why do we act as if compliments cost us so much?

My love language is Words of Affirmation, which means the words people say to me mean a lot. I always tell people if I say nice things about them it means I really like them because I don’t throw words around loosely. But, I too have the hardest time with complimenting people. I think super nice things in my head, but very rarely do they come out of my mouth. Why is that?

I took some time to unpack the reasons I struggle so much with complimenting, and what I found saddened me. I came to the realization that my compliments have been costing something, a very big something, my self-confidence. I realized that with every compliment I give away I am giving away a little piece of my self-worth. What do I mean by this?

I have tricked myself into believing that the success and positive things about other people will dull my own successes. I’ve tricked myself into believing that I have to be like the person that I’m complimenting to be “worthy” in some sense of the word. I have trained my mind to believe that because I don’t have the same strengths and skills as another person I don’t have any at all. This has been such wrong thinking on my part, and as I’ve come to this slow realization I have spent much time in prayer asking God to help me overcome this awful mind set.

As women we must come to realize that bringing to light the strengths and good qualities of those around us does not in any way lessen our own strength and good qualities.

Imagine with me for just a minute a world where every person had the same strengths and weaknesses? Terrible, isn’t it? That’s because God didn’t design us to all be exactly the same.

He designed our strengths and weaknesses to correspond, so that together, we can further His kingdom. It is my true desire that I, myself, and all women would come to realize that complimenting others doesn’t have to decrease our self-worth. I pray that from now on when I give compliments they come from a heart of that doesn’t let pride get in the way but from a heart that truly desires to bring out the positive things in others. Not in a way that flatters, but in a way that lets them know they are appreciated. I earnestly pray that God would help me to compliment, confident that God gave me my strengths and He gave others theirs as a means of glorifying Him.

Oh, how much I wish I could reach across this screen, and look into your eyes, and ask you with all my heart to begin complimenting differently. Compliment from a heart that is secure in the fact that God loves you, and that He has a special plan for your life. Compliment from a heart that doesn’t get caught up in the vicious game of comparison. Compliment from a deep place of sincerity that desires to lift up those around you. Compliment from a heart that realizes that the strengths of others does not dull the shine of your own, not out of a heart of pride, but out of a heart that is confident that God gave you the strengths He wanted you to have, not the ones He gave to someone else. Compliment confidently, my dear friend.

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