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Reform Magazine | April 23, 2017

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Commitment-Phobe: Advent challenge, day seven

Commitment-Phobe: Advent challenge, day seven

I cannot believe I have been doing this for a week! And there are still another two and a half weeks to go…

Days seven’s challenges are pretty simple and based around this text from Proverbs: “Kind words are like honey — sweet to the taste and good for your health.” (Proverbs 16:24). The choices of challenge today were:

  • Compliment as many people as you can today
  • Take some treats into work for some colleagues
  • Thank someone who has helped you out over the last year.

My kind of day. As I work for myself I treated me to various coffees and a few handfuls of jelly beans. Oh wait, hang on, was that not in the spirit of the challenge? I actually chose to thank someone. This will be the first of “two thank you”s as I have decided that more than one person can receive the benefit of this challenge. I have decided that there is fun in extending challenges or doing more than two if you want. Or, if you are really game for a laugh, you can choose to add the extra challenge of writing it about everyday until it is over; but I digress.

I looked at the list of challenges today and thought: I can do that no problem – I always compliment people, I am always quick to show my gratitude. Do I? Am I? I do compliment people a lot, but most often in a backhanded way, like, for instance, I might say to someone: “It’s really irritating how good you are at making people feel good.” Do you see what I did there? Tone of an insult, words of a compliment. I am also really good at complimenting people behind their backs… they do sense it, don’t they? I think I am good at saying thank you, but if I look back at how I do it, I tend to say it via the medium of the written word – notes, emails, cards, texts – or in thoughtful presents. Saying it in person, with the words coming out of my mouth, tends to involve alcohol – or sometimes making up at the end of  an argument.

I use my voice to sing praises to God but I think that using my voice to praise human beings might be something I should work on bit more.

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Read Commitment-phobe’s regular column for Reform here.

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