June 6, 2022

We Never Stop Needing This

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Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Hey, you’re awesome! Who doesn’t like getting a compliment?  That’s what Tom Greaves, the creator of the Compliment Machine demonstrated.

Greaves created a happy-looking red and white box that he installed on a busy city sidewalk.  From inside the box, a reassuring voice called things like: “You’re awesome!” A jogger who came by—sweating profusely—got one that said, “You smell good!” “I don’t know about that one,” said the man as he smiled and kept moving. People began passing by simply to see what nice thing the machine would say about them.

Google compliment machine today and you’ll find websites and Youtube channels dishing out compliments. Greaves explained, “The real human need for assurance and reassurance and to be complimented is powerful. It’s one of the basic emotional needs that we as humans have—one that is often neglected.” [1]

But Greaves’ idea wasn’t original. Scripture said long ago: “Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” (Proverbs 16:24).  The Bible encourages us to encourage one another! “Encourage one another,” it says, “and build each other up,” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). In a world that constantly tears people down we have to cultivate the habit of building others up. The original word that is used there is the same word that would be used of someone who builds a house—brick by brick, timber by timber, nail by nail or perhaps…compliment by compliment.

[1] Lauer, C. (2007, July 28). Ding! Compliment Machine gives pedestrians artful praise. Los Angeles Times, pp. A12–A12.