I cried a little. I’m not a crier. So, my tears were just a glimmer in my eyes. If I had let my guard down I would have sobbed. But, I don’t do that.
I was sitting in my pastor’s office two years ago.
I had been working toward a 92-credit MDiv for five years. I was 20 credits from finishing, and I had hoped to complete those by the year’s end. I had been feeling a bit anxious about what awaited me when I was done with seminary. I had started seminary to be obedient to God’s call to get ready for whatever was next. Now that seminary was nearing the end, I felt I needed to stay diligent about whatever was next. And so I met with my pastor to seek guidance and direction and advice about a job search.
I had a notebook and pen. I was ready to make a list. Tell me what to do. I’ll do it.
God doesn’t usually speak audibly. However, many times God’s words are found in the muscle, breath and spit of human mouths. And the mouth in front of me did not answer my plea for guidance, instead he said four simple words.
“I’m proud of you, ” he said.
Gosh, the words still make my throat twist and my eyes swell. I came looking for direction and found approval.
Being proud of someone, or expressing approval is taking pleasure in the accomplishments of another. We let them know they have our good opinion. For me, approval meant that even though neither of us knew what I should do next, my pastor confirmed that I was on the right path.
After this experience, I have tried hard to express my approval and pride in those around me when they go through something difficult being faithful to God. Especially my children.
Being able to voice affection and pleasure over someone else is a precious gift.
“I am proud of you.”
In 2 Corinthians 7:4, Paul tells the Corinthians church that he has confidence in them and is proud of how they handled a difficult situation. They bring him joy and he feels much affection for them. He continues along this vein for two chapters.
“I brag about you.”
In 2 Thessalonians 1:4, Paul tells the Thessalonian church that he bragged to everyone about their dedication and devotion in the midst of suffering. Not only did he talk to others about them, he told them that he did.
“I am proud to be called your God.”
Hebrews 11 lists the faithful characters in the Old Testament who followed God through faith. They had their eyes on something that God had promised. In verse 16, God says he is not ashamed to be called their God. Through our faith, we make God proud of us. Incredible!
When is the last time someone expressed approval or pride in you? Can you think of someone you need to brag on today? Share this post and give them a few words of approval!
Being able to voice affection and pleasure over someone else is a precious gift.Tweet