Thursday, February 03, 2011

Of Acceptance And Simple Thank-You's

So Tom and Naomi know a certain local excellent guitar player and if Tom, especially, says a guy plays a mean guitar, well, he does. Tom is Mr. Music.

But the problem is that if you tell Guitar Player how awesomely he played, he will begin listing all the mistakes he made during the concert. He'll tell you that no, he's not that great of a musician. He shoulda done better.

For years, it's been the same. Whole crowds tell him, over and over, that he's amazing, but still, he hems and haws and denies his ability.

Tom and Naomi wish they could get this guy to, well, stop that. To stop criticizing his musicianship, his gift, and being so hard on himself. But really? They could ask a thousand well-known, ultra-talented musicians to pat this guy on the back and assure him of his mega-guitar-talent but still, it would make no real difference. I've a feeling if, after all that, one talentless guy came along and told Guitar Player he wasn't worth the ticket money he paid to listen, well, Guitar Player would probably go home hanging his head.

The weird thing, of course, is that most likely, Guitar Player needs to hear all those compliments. Next to loving music, affirmation is probably what he loves next best, but for whatever reasons, he's unable to accept it as truth. I heard he had critical parents who wanted him to forget the whole music scene (to fling away his talent) and that kind of thing goes deep.

You pay some people compliments and automatically they reply, "No, I'm a lousy musician." Or, "Ugh. My writing is no Hemingway." "This lasagna I made turned out bad." "I really messed-up my solo."

They believe they're sounding humble, but actually? If the lasagna was great, why lie and say it wasn't? (Hint: God doesn't think those kinds of lies are ok.) If you're a good writer, why brush away every compliment with, "Nah, I could have done better. So-and-so is a million times better."?

There comes a time to simply say, "Thank-you. I appreciate your saying that."

And there also comes a time to stop competing against a whole world of musicians, writers and cooks--and instead--compete only against ones self. To use our gift more faithfully, more fully and freely than we did the last time. To do our best, to learn all we can about ways in which to better use our God-given gifts so to make others smile, to give them hope and appreciation of the Giver of All Gifts.

For really, it's all about acceptance of who we are and what we've been given. It's about Grace and simple obedience. And it's about Love most of all.


"... but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." II Corinthians 10:12


Pat said...

So true...why can't we just say a simple thank you and move on. It is kind of insulting to the person who is giving the compliment not to be gracious and receive it. Been there done that...both ways.

Elizabeth said...

I am afraid i am guilty of that also. I know i don't accept compliments very well! I will have to work on that!

Unknown said...

Like Pat said, a simple thank you would be much better than putting his self down all the time.

Jenny said...

You're so right. In the face of a sincerely offered compliment, the most gracious (and humble) response is a simple and sincere "Thank you."

I drummed into my children: Learn from everyone but play your game-- not anyone else's -- to the best of your ability. Improve where you can but always be grateful for your God-given gifts.

Anonymous said...

It is like refusing a gift. Wow it hit home though. I have lost 27 pounds and when my husband says I look good I just point out how fat my stomach still is- LOL! Why is it so hard to just say thank you? I have ordered my Krill oil pills! How long did it take before you noticed a difference in your sleep? Thanks again for your help! You're a sweetie. Angela

Debra said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Everyone! I always love reading what you are thinking.

Angela--I think it took at least two weeks for me to realize that, hey! I'm sleeping the way I used to years ago. :) I hope the krill oil will work for you as well as it has for me!

Thanks again, All....Debra