How Should We Receive Exaggerated Praise?
Most of my readers know that I retired at the end of spring semester. My last employment was with Whitworth University, eight plus years at their Spokane campus and over four years with programs in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico. Upon retirement, one of my colleagues gathered together “tributes” from dozens of professors and former students and made them into a video. If you are interested in seeing it, it can be viewed at https://youtu.be/k7c_RVSOoxs. You will notice that they “sang my praises” and I danced and sang “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof…in Spanish…on top of a table…in Costa Rica.
Many nice things were said, and it brought me to shed some tears. I imagined it to be somewhat similar to hearing the eulogy at your own funeral. How should we respond when we receive overstated praise? I am vain enough to think that some of what they said was true. I am also realistic enough to know that I have not been as good, as scholarly, as exciting, as honest, as patient, as creative a professor and colleague as I could have been.
What should we take away from that kind of tribute? That people are important. Friendships that last over the years are one of the most beautiful of God’s generous gifts. So, give deeply of yourself to others and graciously receive their love.