Summary: Sometimes it is easier to accept the negative than the compliment.

When you have lived a long time in a negative environment one of the most difficult things, after you are removed from it, is to accept praise. Often you mistrust it because when people praised you in the past they usually wanted something from you so you doubt the sincerity of the current praise.

Sometimes you find it so refreshing that you act like an excited puppy wetting himself while being petted and begging for it not to end. You feel like a starving man given a plate at a buffet and overeat on that praise making yourself and the giver sick to the stomach.

Sometimes you may allow it to go to your head and then do something unwise bringing on the criticism. After all, in the workplace, one aww nuts wipes out ten attaboys. You may even purposely sabotage yourself because you are more comfortable with criticism. Usually, you feel uncomfortable and unworthy of it so you downplay it discouraging people from praising you because they feel it is unappreciated.

If any of this is you, rejoice that you escaped the environment that made you this way. Thank God for the freedom. Ask Him to help you discern what is real praise and what is manipulating flattery. When presented with sincere praise, receive it graciously and with true humility knowing that it is God who has given you whatever talent you have as well as the opportunity to use it. You have nothing of yourself, but God loves you enough to give you what you need to become what He created you to be so walk in gratitude for that love giving Him the praise.

1 Cor 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Those who criticize you falsely have not read this verse and think they are special and you are not. Do not listen to them. You are special. God loves you and made you different and gifted you differently.

Learn the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Reject the destructive and heed the constructive. It will also help you deal with praise.

Live with what God says about you not what the people in your past said or what people may be saying now that is destructive. They may have come from the same background and only know criticism so that is all they can give.

Don't listen to the devil. He criticized the perfect God so all he knows how to do is be critical and make unwise choices. Listen to God for He will do all things for the good of those who are His children. That may include some constructive criticism, but it will be done in love and peace and righteousness will come from it. He is also full of praise for those in His Son as they seek Him and obey.

Be blessed and encouraged today. Jesus died for you because He loved you sees great potential in you as a child, warrior, and co-heir of the Kingdom. Receive His love and praise. Maranatha!

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