I love the character of Eddie Haskell on the classic show, Leave it to Beaver. Eddie’s syrupy if not disgusting compliments directed to June Cleaver make me laugh. His obvious duplicity is equally amusing. Eddie can tell Mrs. Cleaver how nice she looks in one moment and totally ridicule poor Beaver as soon as the opportunity presents itself. But in real life, the Eddie Haskell’s among us are just not amusing.
People need authentic compliments. Our friends need genuine affirmation and words of truth. I have always thought it was a good idea to direct my compliments toward specific things my family or friends have done. That is a good report card! I really like that dress that picked out. I am proud of your accomplishments at work. That was a great golf shot. The possibilities are limitless. But I have changed my mind recently about such compliments.
People need to hear compliments that affirm their inherent value as a human being. Here are a few examples:
- I think you are so bright. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.
- You are inspiring to me. Your attitude helps me immensely.
- You are gifted. What would I do without you?
- You are insightful. I learn something from you every time I am around you.
- You are valuable. I think you are a priceless gift.
- You are worthy. I respect you for the person you are.
I am discovering more and more that people have a very low opinion of themselves. We all tend to dwell on our own faults. It is crippling. I am not advocating arrogance. I just think that people should hear that they are inherently valuable. The term “workmanship” is used in Scripture to describe God's created beings. The word actually means “masterpiece.” We are God’s masterpiece. But most of us don’t recognize that reality.
I don’t recall Eddie Haskell ever affirming June Cleaver’s inherent value! His empty charm is enough to make even the toughest among us sick! Let’s turn off the charm and turn on the authenticity. There are too many people out there who have a low view of themselves. If the truth be known, authenticity can’t be turned of and on. It is an expression of our character. It is the masterpiece part of us. So…dust off the masterpiece and let it shine! Those closest to us need our authentic selves.