Through the years I have received a number of compliments. I feel I have been really blessed by the number of people who have said a kind word or written a kind note. People often have very nice words as they exit the building after the program, not always, but sometimes. A number of people have told me how helpful my blog is to them. The encouragements are wonderful and they help me to keep at this job called ministry.
Here is the interesting part to me. Some people say very nice things about my preaching, teaching and writing and then they leave the Church and do the opposite of what I have just taught. I talk about change and they listen with intently and return home to keep doing the same thing. I write about getting involved in ministry and they read with delight without ever doing anything. Honestly, it makes many of the compliments and encouragements very empty.
For me, and almost every minister I know, the greatest compliment you can give to anything we say or write is to do it. A compliment on my sermon is appreciated, but it is nothing like seeing a life changed. Kind words are a nice pat on the back but what I need is a helping hand. I would rather see you live out one tiny piece of that I have communicated than give me 10,000 praises.
I think the same thing is true of God and his word.