Phrase of Praise


Everyone tells her she’s a great singer. I wonder if anyone has ever told her she’s a loyal friend?

Everyone tells him he’s a great leader. I wonder if anyone has ever told him he’s a great listener?

Everyone tells her she’s super funny. I wonder if anyone has ever told her how genuine she is?

Everyone tells him he’s a great videographer. I wonder if anyone has ever told him how considerate of others he is?

Everyone told her she loves people well. I wonder if anyone ever told her she’s a great problem solver?

“Everyone needs to know they are more than what they are praised for most.”


Compliments have a lot of weight don’t they? They feed our self perception. A thumbs up to our strengths, compliments breed confidence. Encouragement empowers. But what about when compliments become so repetitive they grow stale? This occurs when we only receive compliments on our surface level strengths, the typical, the things we are prone to be praised about and praise in others.

It’s easy to praise people for the blatant, the obvious strengths that they show. But, it takes more time, effort, discernment, and intentionality to see the underlying heartbeat of a person; to dissect the interwoven characteristics of their foundation, their makeup.

Compliments that made my heart sing most are the rare ones, the ones I’ve never heard before. The ones where someone points something out in me that has never, or rarely been noted about me. Sometimes these are things I never even saw in myself. It’s amazing how with one phrase of praise a latent strength in someone can be brought to the forefront and be nurtured and grow. I wonder how many people today are doing something they never saw themselves doing simply because someone took the time to see something in them and say something about it.

So I challenge you, and I challenge me, to be more intentional about the praise we give others. Let’s get to know people beyond the surface so we can know their deeper strengths. Let’s be more perceptive. Let’s stop speaking in general praise, and take the time to be specific in our encouragement. Instead of telling someone that the love people well, give them an example of a time they did. Instead of telling someone they are a great leader, focus on an exact time they led well or a characteristic they exhibit of a great leader.

Write someone a note of encouragement today, pointing out something you really appreciate about them. Make it a weekly thing, a monthly thing. Let’s pour fresh praise upon hearts that are dry. For the Creator is too creative, making every human so beautifully complex for us to be confined to their surface strengths. For when we praise a person, the praise rolls to their Creator.


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