Compliment Green Light

I like compliments, both giving and receiving. I wasn’t always comfortable with the receiving part. Early on in my modesty journey, I had the nagging thought that people gave me compliments out of pity: “Let’s say something nice about her new skirt, even though we know she is a religious nut job.”

These days, since moving to Virginia, I am veritably surrounded by friends (with an s, as in, more than one!) who take modesty seriously. How is a compliment different between people who have different or similar values?

Let’s take the differing scenario first. Person A gives Religously dressed Person B a compliment on her dress. They may never choose to wear that style or even a dress at all (assuming Persons involved are women). They might like the print or the flattering cut or think its just “nice”. What Person A is admiring is the externalities of the dress. There is no shared bond between the Persons behind the choice of a dress over pants or a headscarf over nothing.

In the next scenario, both ladies are of the same value system, i.e., wearing modest feminine clothing and maybe a headcovering is a good thing. I give Sharon a compliment on her new headscarf. I notice the color is becoming to her. But this is not all. She and I know that I am also praising her willingness in wearing a scarf. We are bound together on more than sheer opinion.

Go, dear women, and compliment freely! It builds us up towards good works.


4 Responses to “Compliment Green Light”

  1. 1 Sanna October 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    To the pure all things are pure, but I can see how *for me* this would become an issue of vanity, even Pharisaism…
    If I ever knew what was good for me, I would try and avoid seeming to be cliqueishly dressed outside of a formal church context. (Even so, I don’t mean to dress cliqueishly in church contexts: I only mean that there is a level of acceptance of things like headscarves.)
    On the other hand, community is a good thing, however it is found.

    Remember the Quaker days, and the eternal dilemma of whether or not it was prideful to wear Plain?

    Just thinking in type 🙂 It’s great that you’re pursuing this with your whole heart.


  2. 2 Michelle Therese October 7, 2009 at 4:12 am

    I used to cut myself down when people gave me a compliment. But I realized that I was being rude and selfish! So now I look the person in the eye and say, truthfully, “Thank you! What a nice thing to say!”

  3. 3 samantharoyce October 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I’m always a little embarrassed when another woman at church compliments me on my headcovering. I’ve had a couple of ladies come up to me and actually thank me for wearing one. One woman was very pleased because she was an older lady who had grown up at a time when women were required to cover. I have to be very careful though that I don’t become too prideful and/or vain about wearing one.

  4. 4 kazari October 28, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Don’t assume that another woman, dressed differently from you, does not appreciate the value system behind it.
    My idea of modest dress differs from yours, but I understand and appreciate the why’s behind your choices, even if I don’t share them.

    Of course, I understand that such a compliment would feel more meaningful coming from someone with visibly similar values : )

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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