Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sheltering with Praise.

If you're sincere, praise is effective. If you're insincere, it's manipulative.                                                                                                           ~Zig Ziglar

There are many differences of opinions concerning praise.  Some say it makes a person weak and dependent on praise to do a job well.  Others, like the Irish proverb tells us, believe praise causes us to blossom.  

Wendell Philips believed, that while many people know how to flatter, few know how to praise. Flattery is lavish insincere praise, sometimes given to further our own self. Praise is the act of expressing approval.

My children were raised with a healthy dose of praise.  I remember once after one of Melanie's piano recitals, I praised her for playing so well. She told me she had missed a note.  When I asked her how many notes she had played right, the friend standing near us said, "I never heard about the ones I played right, just the ones I missed."

I, too, was raised with the encouragement of praise. Tom's Pizza was the ultimate praise from my daddy after a concert or program.  I don't think we ever outgrow our need for parental praise.  My mother still mentions each blog post I write and project I complete. Many years have passed since those Tom's Pizza praises, yet still I need to hear their genuine praise. 

Taking the Great-Grands to Tom's Pizza

C S Lewis said, had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, minds, praised most, while the cranks, misfits and malcontents praised least

Some Christians seem to be uncomfortable around the word praise, as if praise would encourage pride.  They use the word affirm, assuming the more dignified word would be more accepting.  

God gave us warnings against undeserving praise, but even Jesus was quick to praise when it was deserving. When Jesus, through John, was telling the Ephesians, He was saddened knowing they had left their first love. He was quick to give them praise for what they had done right.  

I see what you've done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can't stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out. (Revelation 2:2). 

All throughout the Bible praise is recorded.  Paul praised Phoebe for being a helper, Boaz praised Ruth for her courage, and Achish praised David and called him an angel.

As we praise each other, those thoughts of honor and blessing will naturally spill over into praises to God.  The Message translates the familiar verse of the Psalmist, I bless God every chance I get.  My lungs expand with His praise (Psalm 34:1).

Praising God isn't just about recounting a blessing in church. Our medium for praising Him may be different from Bible days, but it's the 2012 way.  It's a Facebook status, reading praise for protection.  It's an e-mail rejoicing in a physical touch. It's a twitter praise for God's help (in 140 characters).  Times have changed, but the command to praise is still the same.  Let every living, breathing creature praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6).

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Denise said...

Fantastic post.

Terra said...

Amen, let every living thing praise the Lord. And praise can build up a person and help them blossom, or just make it through a difficult day.


I enjoy honoring others with appropriate praise.

Marilyn said...

My students love praise! Good post and a reminder of how important it is.♥♫

Simply God's Girl said...

I love this. It reminds me of a precious friend who always will see through a situation and pull out the one positive thing about it. I seem to pull out the one negative thing. I always say to her, "One day, when I grow up in the Lord, I hope to be just like you." :o) We tease one another and she always finds the positive thing to say back to me... and I laugh... but we love one another and I praise God that He has shown me the negativity in my life. He has helped me by sending me a friend that has shown me another way. Sounds much like the person that you are!

Thank you so much for sharing today and for being such a wonderful Mom! Visiting from OYHT.

Simply God's Girl

Debbie said...

This was a great post, and I just couldn't agree with it more. I think the Lord often blesses us with praise and encouragement from others just when we need it most. Have a wonderful day!

joy said...

praise lift ups the soul of the receiver and it makes our hearts thankful

Wendy @ E1A said...

Excellent post!

Crystal Ridlon said...

Great reminders! This post encourages me in my daily endeavor as a mom of 4! Thanks for sharing!

Lyli @ 3dLessons4Life said...

I see praise as encouragement, and we are definitely called to encourage one another. Great post. :)

Roger and LeAnn said...

A lovely post and very praise worthy. I loved the CS Lewis quotes; one of my favorite. The scriptures were a reminder of praise vs flattery.
Loved this one!

Sylvia R said...

That Zig Ziglar quote in the beginning was a waker-upper! It made me think of places in the Bible where the flatterer and the slanderer are one in the same person.
Lyli said it for me: the Bible tells us to encourage one another, and sometimes people can't see the value in what they're doing and really need someone to point it out, to keep them going. But for us to strive for the praise of man is a big mistake, which leaves us vulnerable to both others' manipulation and our own pride. Great post!

Suzanne said...

This goes so well with our family devotion from yesterday about considering our various trials as joy. God desires certainly desires our praise!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you were encouraged!


Cherry said...

What great thoughts on true, uplifting "praise". And I loved these words about your mother ... "My mother still mentions each blog post I write and project I complete." What a sweet, thoughtful mother. And thanks for your encouraging comment on my recent blog post.

Dee said...

A good blog topic...The Lord want's our praise. When I began added true praise with my prayer time...my life began to change :)

Kathy Moody said...

Oh, what an amazing post! I love C. S Lewis. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I am so glad you did!! I'm your newest follower sweet friend. :)

Just Be Real said...

Great post Pamela. I quite agree in being real. I mean you can fool people, but you can never fool God. Blessings.

Crown of Beauty said...

Full of deep insights, Pamela. There was a yes in my heart as I read your words. Parental praise is the best. We all need to grow up with a healthy dose of it, or else children look to the wrong things to get the affirmation and approval they so long for.

And yes, sincere praise is effective, insincere praise is flattery, and manipulative.

Insincere praise is also self serving.
A kind of bribery.

Blog comments can very easily turn to manipulation and flattery. I always make it a point to leave kind but sincere comments, never flattery.

My few minutes spent reading your words were really worth it all...

Thanking God for you,

Jeanne said...

I love this post and it has really spoken to my heart. I will be looking forward to your posts

RicKaren said...

Awesome post! I credit everything I do/and an able to do to the praises and encouragement of my parents! I hope to instill the same self confidence in my daughters!

Betty said...

It takes no courage to discourage but it does take courage at times to encourage. All of us have times we do not feel like praising but with our will we can. Great post...He will fill our mouth with praise if we but get to know. Blessings

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Pamela,

I think affirming each other and building people up is vital. Sincerity, humility, and the focus pointing to Christ in us is then what makes it most helpful, I think. Thanks for grappling with this. :)

How wonderful that your daughter and husband can sing together!

Jennifer Dougan

Chris said...

Hi Pamela, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

LOLITA said...


I love it that you mentioned, "I bless God every chance I get. My lungs expand with His praise (Psalm 34:1)."

I so identify with the Psalmist, when I read words of encouragement that affects me so much, or find myself in another's story or situation, when beautiful words send several shades of color that sings, my chest just expand, and of course, it bursts.... into praise. I see Jesus in my fellow believer's life or words.

Even if we praise each other, I think also of what it is doing in us and in others.... and in our Maker... that is rejoicing.

I love this post, Pamela. Thank you. This is one of them.

Rahul Rai said...

Excellent post!!!

LOLITA said...

BTW, Pamela.

I linked this post to my own today.

Thank you because this one gave me a good push to pen down my thoughts today.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

growing up I never heard praise. I only heard the bad...the horrible...the negative. I promised myself that my children would always only hear the good and I've kept to that. The result..they are amazing and teach me to much of the good in life. I want to live my life always kind....giving praise where it's due...like He does for me. Thanks Pamela for this....it really got me thinking.

Karen said...

I agree that we all need sincere affirmation and praise. Many teachers with whom I worked disagreed, but I can say that praise boosts my own determination to "keep on keeping on"!

Shoregirl said...

Wonderful post, Pam.....lots of food for thought..like your C.S. Lewis quote: "I had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, minds, praised most, while the cranks, misfits and malcontents praised least."
I learned early on in parenting that positive reinforcement worked MUCH BETTER than criticism.
I made charts to "conquer" weak areas - with places for stickers every time M. got it right.
Love your blog and all your wisdom -- I drink it in like a sponge!