Every so often it will be our privilege to share a guest post on the blog. Today is one of those days.
We’re happy to have Audrey Bandley posting for us today. Be sure to take a moment and visit her website or watch her new music video on YouTube after you’ve read today’s post. We know she’ll uplift and inspire you!
(And if you’d like to submit a guest post, we’d love to hear from you too! Email us at email@example.com.)
I don’t really know her name, but she was a really good teacher. I mean, really, REALLY good. How? Because the lesson I learned from sitting in her class last summer didn’t have anything to do with the actual lesson she was teaching at all! It was what she taught on accident that has ultimately changed my life.
In the middle of her instruction, she paused what she was doing, looked off into nowhere and said, “Have you ever had a compliment cross your mind? You know, a random positive thought about someone you know or maybe someone you’re just passing by?”
While she was speaking, my brain was like, “Um yeah. All the time.”
What she said next has never left me. “Sometimes I wonder if those compliments are actually God whispering to your mind something He knows that person needs to hear at that exact moment. What if it’s God’s way of asking you to be His mouthpiece for a moment? And, what if you don’t say it out loud?” Tangent finished. She then went back to her lesson as if she hadn’t even said a word.
That phrase, “What if I don’t say it out loud?” has stuck with me for months now. Haunted me, really. I’ve thought back to all the times I’d had positive thoughts cross my mind: thoughts about people I know, people I don’t know, friends, family, cashiers at the grocery store, random people I see in the halls, and then I thought of all the times I’ve locked those thoughts inside because of my fear of intruding or being inconvenient to them or even sounding ridiculous.
But then I thought of all those people who have given me compliments freely; those people who have unknowingly said exactly what I needed to hear at just the right moment; those people who tell me I look nice or sound nice or am nice when I don’t particularly feel like I deserve it; those people who voice the good in me when I can’t see it myself; those people follow God’s voice to sincerely say something positive. As I thought, I realized that THAT is the sort of people we need more of in this world. Those are the ones who really make a difference. Those are the ones who genuinely reach people. I immediately committed to being one of “those” people for the rest of my life.
One of my very favorite quotes is from John Burroughs, who once said, “The smallest good deed is better than the greatest intention.” A sincere compliment is one of the smallest, most unselfish “good deeds” we can ever perform, yet it holds within it the biggest impact. It can make a difference in someone’s life, but it does no good if it isn’t given away. We cannot save compliments with the “intention” of saying them at a more convenient “sometime.” When God places a thought in our mind, we must act on it ASAP, because God has perfect timing. He knows each of us so perfectly that He knows what we need to hear and when we need to hear it.
And sometimes He needs us to be His mouthpiece.
So, maybe today we can all listen a little more closely to the thoughts that God whispers to our minds and maybe today we can commit to being a little bit braver as we “say them out loud” and maybe, just maybe, we will discover that, along with inspirations for other people, God is gently whispering little daily compliments to our own souls as well.
Say them out loud.