Good Compliments Gone Bad

I’m not a fan of critics because any fool can criticize.  I figure there are enough critics in this world so I honestly try hard to be a cheerleader with my words.

But sometimes even the best planned compliments come out wrong. Like early this past Sunday morning, when I meant to say something nice, but it came out all wrong. Five of us, 2 guys and 3 girls, had just finished up a 4-mile run and were walking back to our cars in the dark. What I totally wanted to say was, “Girls, this running is making y’all look great. Y’all are getting so skinny.” I figured a compliment like that would make that hard 4-mile run seem worth it every step, but my words didn’t come out exactly like I had planned.  Instead of being a compliment … it sounded more like criticism when I told them, “You girls sure look skinny when it’s dark.” To make a long story short … I was verbally abused the rest of the day by three girls who didn’t see how I was trying to build them up.

God has given you and I an amazing gift …. the gift of speech. With this gift you have the power to use your words to hurt someone or heal someone. Today you have a choice to use your words to either build someone up or tear someone down. I suggest you use them to build up … just make sure you do it correctly.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Trey Morgan tagged this post with: Read 1182 articles by
14 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Amy Voss says:

    Totally been there. I often get my words mixed up. It happens to the best of us 😉

  2. JDH says:

    Trey, I learned a long time ago never to say anything about a woman’s weight…positive or negative! You know how it can go: “Honey you sure have been losing weight and you look so good now!” To which she replies: “Are you saying I looked bad before? Go sleep on the couch.”

    I agree about building people up with your words, but some subjects should be avoided!

  3. ~Brenda says:

    HahahahaHA!!! Good job, Trey! :)) I would have joined those ladies and given you SO much grief. Not because I was mad at you, but because you totally opened yourself up for criticism there. Too funny!

    Agree with JDH above. Just …. don’t say anything when it comes to the weight of women. ;))

  4. james jones says:

    “Honey, that shirt look better on you now than it used to…”

  5. Greg England says:

    You’re on your own with this one!

  6. kristie says:

    oh those poor girls.. got up early to run and you said that to them…OH WAIT.. it was me! its okay i will survive.. i have not eaten since sunday but i will make it.. i am trying to stay away from you!
    hahaha just kidding, this just means i can give you heck for a REAL long time! :)

  7. jel says:

    One of the reason I don’t talk that much, cause when I do, I get the (foot~in~mouth) thing 😕

  8. Jesse says:

    Ha, I think I would have just turned and ran if I were in your shoes. Also If you can’t tame the tongue do what I do, clamp your jaws shut and pray…

  9. Chris Clouse says:

    Great post, Trey… Thanks for being a constant source of light…

  10. Su says:

    But as a girl who managed to get skinny-ish from running, I gotta tell ya… the original wasn’t that great, either. Next time go for, “You all looked strong out there today,” or something along those lines. 😉

  11. I am here to share the magic of a single word which can redeem or improve almost any compliment.

    The word is: “especially.”

    As in: “You look especially lovely today” or “You are especially gorgeous in that.”

    It says exactly what I want to say. She already looks gorgeous to me; that’s part of why I married her! But with her hair styled this way or in that color or wearing that pattern or cut of skirt or blouse or suit, she looks even more spectacular. It says I like your taste; you spent wisely on it; you did better with great!

    I’m especially grateful to God for the genius of the person who coined the word “especially.”

    Whoever she was.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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