Thursday, March 01, 2012

Man's empty praise

After I put up yesterday's Lenten post (Be Thou my Vision) I was singing the song all day long - you know how it is when you get a song in your head. But there's one line I sing half-heartedly.

'Riches I need not
Nor man's empty praise'

Riches I need not. Thanks to God and a hard-working husband I have far more than I need.
But man's empty praise? 

Oh yes, I need that. I know I shouldn't. But I do. I need affirmation that I'm doing a good job, that I'm not  useless, that my work - my life - is appreciated, that I am an okay person. It's all very well knowing God loves me and values me just as I am but he doesn't actually say so in words that I can understand. It's true that he demonstrates his love in many ways but I want, need, to hear the words, 'Gosh, that's good.' (Would God say gosh? I suppose if he's omniscient it must take some of the fun out of life, never being surprised.)

Nick has a post on his blog about women needing to wear make-up and I was about to defend myself when I realised I do need to wear make-up to make me feel good about myself, which in turn gives me confidence.
I should feel good about myself; I should have confidence in who I am. But I need a little - a lot - extra.

I suppose I think my personality is pretty pathetic so I need all the help I can get. It's one thing knowing the facts, it's quite another to have the strength to live them out.

Then again if someone does say something nice to me I tend to think:
a) he/she's obliged to say that;
b) it's not really true;
c) 'I wish you wouldn't say nice things to me; it makes me uncomfortable,' (because of a and b).

How did I get here? Meandering maudlin thoughts. It's still a fab song though. Nigel in church, who plays a digeridoo, usually does the lead-in bit from where it builds up. 


katney said...

I think there is a difference between empty praise and heartfelt --I don't want to use the same word--maybe it is heartfelt moral support. A difference, anyway, between someone saying, for example, a platitude because it is polite, and similar words because they really appreciate you and mean it sincerely.

Leslie: said...

Yes, I agree with Katney. That said, we all need to have a little extra pat on the back, encouragement, or just a feel-good type of phrase sent our way. I know I need it - sometimes more than other times. In fact, I absolutely crave it sometimes. So don't feel guilty about your need! Just accept it and even ask for it from those you feel closest to.