How should a pastor or a leader take a compliment? You may think this would be an easy question, but many leaders struggle with this. Many minister for the glory of God, not for the accolades of men. I still, to this day, struggle with processing compliments, especially when they are directed toward me as a person rather than the effect the Word had. Here are some ways to take a compliment without being arrogant and off-putting.
- Walk in to your worship gathering or any other meeting humbled at the privilege of serving Jesus! We were destined for hell, but Christ rescued us and set us upon that solid Rock (Psalm 40:1-2). We must walk, humbled at any and every blessing He provides.
- Remember what the Apostle Paul said: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
- Do not fake modesty by refusing a compliment. That’s actually not humility, but pride. Use it as an opportunity to glorify God, even saying as much! “Your sermon really spoke to me today. Thank you!” “Glory of God! Thank you for the encouragement!”
- At the same time, don’t believe your own press. C.J. Rhodes said, “When people praise you, don’t let it go to your head. When they criticize you, don’t let it go to your heart.” Any good thing that happens comes from above (James 1:17).
Compliments and criticism both can crush your humility. Compliments can puff up, elevating pride in feeding our notion of how great we are! Criticism can breed resentment, elevating pride at the notion that someone could actually criticize us in the first place!
What are some ways you as a leader can take a compliment?