When was the last time you received a compliment about something that really mattered to you? Do you remember how good it made you feel? Did it encourage you to continue the good work about which you were complimented? I have to admit that compliments really make me feel good. I greatly appreciate that someone else cares enough to notice and say something. In short, a simple compliment can make my day.

I am impressed with the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Colossians which we hear in the first reading today. Why do I say this? While it often seems Paul is busy pointing out the shortcomings of the communities he addresses, today Paul compliments the Colossians for their faith and love. I can imagine being a Colossian and feeling quite encouraged to hear Paul’s opening words.

This leads me to ask myself, do I compliment others when I see faith and love at work in their lives? Knowing how much compliments can lift my spirits, why would I ever hesitate to take notice and say something positive to another? My voice might just be the voice God is using to give encouragement to that person.

Compliments are like love. They cost nothing to give, they can have an enormous impact for the good, and they tend to have a ripple effect which keeps expanding forever. I will try to keep my eyes and ears open for genuine opportunities to compliment the people Godputs in my life today.

—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for
 Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits