We were created to appreciate compliments (no I'm not saying that's the reason God created us for. Please read further). As you know we were created in God's image (Genesis 1:27) and since God loves to be praised there is that inner desire in us to be praised. No, I don't mean praised as in being idolized and worshiped but actually being complemented in how we look or what we've done. Even babies enjoy compliments. Think about a baby learning to clap his hands, stand up, walk or any new skill they learn or achieve. They glow, get excited and smile at just hearing you say...."sisisi....good boy". I personally saw this with our son and till this day at the age of three he wants to be complimented for doing or saying something we taught him correctly.
It all started in the garden of Eden after God created man and gave him authority over everything He said:"It is good" (Genesis 1:27-31 ). Then after He created the woman out of the man's rib, the first words the woman heard was compliments out of the man's mouth (Genesis 2:22-). Every time I think of that first encounter I imagine if Adam was talking in isiZulu he would have said: "Dudlu mtwana. Thambo lam' e lifresh." LOL! (Refer to Genesis 2:22)
Ok bringing it back to the point of writing this, when I say ; "A Compliment Can Save A Life Or Change A Mind", we must learn to compliment each other as well as strangers. Some people come from homes where a compliment does not exist. All they hear is negative words about them. Some wake up alone at home and get to hear a nasty, jealous person (who also needs to be saved) telling them how ugly, fat, unattractive they are or not suited by what they are wearing. Or that kind of person criticize the work of their hands or smashes their dreams and aspirations.
I met a lady who was working as a cleaner at a hospital a year ago. I could not get over how beautiful she looked and how kind (attractive) her whole face was and how beautiful her skin was. I saw her the couple of days we kept going to the unit she worked in, and as she was talking to us and comforting us (story for another day) the radience in her face moved something in me. I felt a nudge as if God was saying to me: "Tell her she is beautiful." I told her she looked beautiful and has the face and skin for modelling facial products. I even complimented how flawless her make up looked. She was so overjoyed and told her colleague saying: " Do you hear what she just said? Just after so-and-so told me I must change my make up it doesn't suit me!"
To cut the story as I was using it as an illustration, I have learnt that someone could be dying inside because of the negative they keep hearing from others about themselves. Self-talk alone doesn't work as some people are called "confident and self-motivated." We constantly need to hear that we look good, we did well, we are good at this and that in order to thrive.
This is why people turn to social media. No one can say "I hate it when I post my picture and people like it." Then don't post. It is human nature. Personally getting a compliment that "I look beautiful" from my mom means I really look "Hollywood screen gorgeous." LOL! I don't blame her and I'm used to her. But she does compliment what I do, what i am wearing, compliments my husband's personality and character oh but she goes on about our son's looks and intelligence. LOL! I suppose my mom grew up with the belief of "Don't tell your child they are beautiful otherwise they won't sleep at home. LOL! But really with this point I'm trying to show how compliments are rare from home.
How can a compliment change a mind or save a life you ask as per my heading? Someone could be continuously hearing how unattractive, fat, stupid or anything else most of their lives. Some live up to that because they heard it so much they believe it. Try it with someone you know. You know that frumpy-looking, lazy-walking, I-don't-care kind of person. He or she is probably in your office, the bus you ride or lives on your street. Find something nice to say to them and see the change happen to them. It took words from God in the beginning to change what was there. He said to the dark, formless world "Let the be light" (Genesis 1:3). Words change the atmosphere and change people. Words make a plant grow or die. Words, beautiful words make things beautiful.
It took me gaining weight from pregnancy to hear how cruel people can be. As if you don't have a mirror they employ themselves into that position to tell you "Shoo ha usanonanga"(means you've gained so much weight). It was disheartening and irritating but thanks be to God I know who I am and that my soul is far worth than the vessel it is carrying. No not giving in to lazyness and doing nothing. I did loose the weight in a good way. And thanking my husband for always telling me I look beautiful.
Which that brings me to married people. Never cease telling your wife she is beautiful. Your words are the water and food that will keep her blossoming like a beautiful flower. Wives, you too must never cease telling him he looks good, he did well, you appreciate his efforts (yeah men appreciate the efforts of her cooking and cleaning as well). May neither of your spouse hear that from the opposite sex who is not you. May it be by the time they hear it outside, they are already blooming from your words that those other words are just wind.
The same goes with your children. Do not wait for them to be teenagers and looking like young women or men. They won't believe you by then, instead they will believe strangers who always told them when you didn't. Children need their parents to believe in them, support them morally and compliment them. Be their number one cheerleader and fan If that happens to them peer pressure will be a rumour or wind to them.
To close this "was-not-supposed-to-be-so-long" write-up, if you are not so good or brave to share the Gospel (may God help you) tell people what God thinks of them. He sees them as wonderfully and fearfully made (Psalm 139:14). He sees them as conquerors (Romans 8:38). He sees them as his beautiful workmanship(Ephesians 2:10). You know yourself that whatever you make with your hands, invent from your mind, plans and ideas you execute, are great, beautiful, wonderful in your eyes. Like every mother looks at her child and says they are beautiful. Be that mouthpiece of the Creator and compliment someone out three. Plant seeds of compliments and change lives. And hey as scripture says: "What you reap is what you sow." (Galatians 6:7) You will also get recognized and complimented for your looks and your works.
PS. For me compliments to others come naturally because in my daily prayer I ask God to teach me to see people the way that He sees them and never to judge them by the seeing of the natural eyes or hearing of the natural ear.