Why is it so hard to accept praise? I don't mean when we've worked hard for something and are given hard-earned accolades. Neither do I mean the condescending kind that comes with a "good work" pat on the back. (You know what I'm talking about!) I mean, the unexpected kind that you feel unworthy of.
I was given a compliment today. At first I was in shock. "He's kidding, right? or somehow mocking me." That was my first thought. But I know this guy a little bit, and he's not the mocking type. I deflect the compliment and move on. But no, he does not receive my deflection and brings the spotlight back to me. At this point, I'm uncomfortable. I feel there are at least two others there that are MUCH more deserving of his words than I am and yet he's ignoring them to shower me. I stumble through some sort of acknowledgement and the conversation takes a natural turn.
A little while later, it comes up again! I try to turn the compliment to those that are more worthy. He does not allow me to do so. Instead, he puts both of his hands on my shoulders and repeats his words. I know he was trying to get his point across, to impress me to receive what he was saying. It wasn't even that big of a deal. The topic I mean. So why couldn't I just say thank you?
This incident made me think of Christ. My complimentary friend is a Christian, so it is natural that he is shining for Christ. I'm not sure if he was being intentional in that regard or not, but my thoughts went towards Him nonetheless. I'm not worthy of Christ's love. I feel like dirty rags in his presence. I wonder why He is showering me with His love. There are times I try to deflect it. Other times I put it off on other people. Sometimes I even refuse to acknowledge it at all. I know this hurts Him, yet I cannot seem to help it! Eventually Christ puts His hands on my shoulders, looks me in the eye and impresses me to accept His love. It is not forced, but the knowledge of His love is made perfectly clear. His desire to love me is known. I then bask in it. Humbly crawl towards it and say "Thank you, Lord!" for that is all there is to say.