Benefit of Praise

With Christmas right around the corner, family get-togethers are a common celebration. When we are with family, we have the option to build them up with praise or tear them down with criticism. Here are the benefits of choosing praise: Praise benefits the giver as well as the receiver. When someone focuses on consistently giving sincere praise to others, they are protecting themselves from a heart of ungratefulness. Romans 1:21 tells us what happens to the heart of people who are ungrateful:

…Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
We see in this Scripture that the key to having a pure heart (both with God and our marriage) is to keep a continual heart of thankfulness. Genuine appreciation and thankfulness is also a good way to stay humble. People who don’t want to give others praise or appreciation are often marked by their eagerness to boast about themselves. Pride likes to focus on self, while humility is glad to let others have the spotlight. When we choose to consciously look for the good in others and to verbalize this to them, we guard our own hearts from growing cold toward them. Likewise, as we glorify and thank God, we guard our hearts from growing cold toward Him and His word. 
Sometimes people are concerned about praising their spouse or other family members, wondering if being edified often will make the other person prideful. In fact, some people even purposefully insult family or even laugh when their children insult each other, thinking it will keep them humble or prepare them to handle the “real world.” This is actually an attack of the devil, intended to greatly damage and destroy a spouse or child’s confidence. 
Satan knows if he succeeds in destroying someone’s confidence through their loved ones, that person will feel inferior or inadequate to accomplish what God has called them to do, blocking their God-given destiny from being fulfilled. Anyone who has experienced great success will tell you that a person still gets much farther ahead in the “real world” through praise rather than criticism. 
When edification is done the right way, which includes building a person up for who God made them to be, pride should not be a factor. In fact, edification often brings out humility, especially when a person is complimented for who they are in Christ. 
Amy experienced this when she was a child. Whenever someone complimented her appearance as a little girl, her mother would immediately respond by saying to the person, “Thank you! And what’s most important is that she’s just as pretty on the inside!” As a result, Amy grew up knowing that being kind to people was of utmost importance. Her mother wanted her to grow up knowing that a kind personality is more important than looks. When a parent gives a child compliments on their kindness toward others, the child will make even more effort to show that kindness! 
The Bible admonishes us about the importance of building one another up in 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore comfort [encourage] each other and edify one another…” Interestingly, the original word translated as edify here actually means “to be a house builder, to construct, confirm, build up, and embolden” (Stron’s #3618). This is profound! When we edify and encourage those in our household, we are being house builders! With our words of edification and praise, we are inspiring them to go forth in courage and become all God has called them to be! As we edify those we love, we actually construct a foundation in them that will endure the test of time!
This Christmas season, we encourage you to purposefully praise and edify all those around you. You’ll be amazed at how your words of encouragement are as much a gift to you as they are to the receiver.   
We pray you have a wonderfully blessed Christmas season, and that you are overwhelmed by God’s love and grace,   
We love you! 
Pastors Shaun & Amy