Rob and I have been very blessed to have a weeks holiday in Queenstown, New Zealand together. If you have never been, you should go if you’re able. It’s one of the prettiest places I have ever seen. The natural beauty is breathtaking. The people are beautiful; everything seems to clean and the atmosphere is captivating.

While we were in Queenstown, I read a book by Bill Johnson and there was a line in the book that stood out to me. It said, “If we don’t live by the praises of men, we won’t die from their criticism.” What a powerful sentence. It is pure gold. I encourage you to sit with it for a while, let the truth of these words soak into your heart, mind, and soul and let it cascade over you giving you the opportunity to absorb the freedom it gives. Let it become your mantra so that you can live it and put it into practice.
Whilst reading I asked myself a question which I will pose to you. How many times have we let ourselves be thrown off course because of someone’s criticism? The criticism doesn’t have the power to throw us off course. Rather, it’s the acceptance of those words and that thought that has the power to throw us off course. You may be asking, ‘How do we give criticism power? We do so by placing too much importance on what others think.
As my regular readers know, I am a great believer of adding value to others and one of the most effective ways to so is by praising people as often as we can. Praise is powerful and necessary. I believe it is one of the elixirs of life.  I have heard it takes twelve positives to out weight one negative, so we need to be praised, and we need to praise.
The secret to living in this out is not to live by those praises, enjoy them when they come they will aid you reach your full potential and help you to be strong enough to help others reach their full potential. Just be mindful and intent of not living by them. What do I mean by that? I say, don’t become dependant upon others praises. Know who you are and why you are doing whatever it is you are doing. Do it to the best of your ability because you love to give your best but don’t do it to receive the praises.
Praise is a bonus; it’s not the motivation. If we are dependant on the praises of others to feel satisfaction within ourselves or to have a sense of satisfaction in something we have accomplished we will live a life of uncertainty, confusion and disappointment. We won’t feel valued or significant because there will always be some one who dosen’t appreciate us or what we are trying to achieve in life.
As we raise our children and grandchildren, we need to be praising them as often as we can and at the same time teach them not to depend on the praise of others. Praise is to be enjoyed but is not the reason for doing something or not doing something. It is a shaky platform on which to place your value system. Our value needs to be placed on much more solid ground than praises from others.
After arriving home from the airport on Saturday night Rob and I had the privilege to attend a fiftieth party for a beautiful friend. At this party one of our friends accidentally broke a glass while the speeches were in full motion. One of the party goers stepped up and very graciously made sure the glass was removed and as one of the ladies next to my friend had bare feet, she got some serviettes and put them on the ground for her to stand on until the speeches were over and the glass could be cleaned properly. This was done quietly with no fuss and without hesitation and the speeches weren’t interrupted at all. I spoke to the lady who was so gracious in helping these two ladies and honoured her for how she so selflessly gave assistance. I could tell straight away by her response to me that it wouldn’t have made an ounce of difference to her whether I praised her or not, she was just happy to help with or without praise. Her satisfaction was in what she had done , helped someone, not in the praise I gave her. Of course my praises would have added value to her but her motivation was service not approval.

Children need to be taught by us adults how to place healthy significance on praise, how to receive them well while not relying on them. How to appreciate the praise, how to give praise but not live by them otherwise as soon as they are criticised they will be crushed. Criticism will always be around somewhere, you can’t live with others without expecting some from some one. If we live by praise, we won’t know how to respond well to someone who truly loves us and gives us necessary constructive criticism that can help us and save us some heart ache.
Learn how to place praise and criticism in their rightful places and
how to use them both to their best advantage but don’t let either of them determine who you are or what you achieve in life. One of my favourite sayings is “children catch much more than they are taught.” Let’s show our children and grandchildren by example how to accept praise whilst not living by them. How do they see us respond to praises and criticism? Do we change according to others opinions about us? Or, are we confident in who we are and stay the course while accepting others will have opinions about us at times. Let’s also be the ones that are busy praising and complimenting others rather than being quick to criticise.

Remember, enjoy praise from others that come your way but don’t live by them or you will die by their criticism.
Be blessed