I like getting compliments. Who doesn’t? If you’ve read the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, I am an off the chart “words of affirmation” guy so I need to hear it!
When I started making music years ago, I’d often receive compliments about the music itself – my songwriting, the instrumentation, my playing ability, etc. And that’s awesome. It always feels good to have someone recognize the effort you’ve put into stewarding your God-given abilities. But without taking away anything from those compliments or the intentions of those who gave them, I’ve always longed for more. I don’t want to be a just good musician or decent songwriter. I want to create connection points between the listener and God that spurs eternal change in the life of the hearer. Man, that’s what really moves me. So when I hear that my music or counsel or teaching has done that for a person, my day is officially made.
These past few weeks I’ve received two of these “best possible” compliments and I’m still floating. The first one came after being part of a city wide worship event when a friend told me that as I began to sing and lead the people in worship she could “feel the presence of God come in the room so strong.” How cool is that?! It’s so much better than hearing that I sounded good or looked cool. As I sang, she had an encounter with the Living God – the Maker of the Universe and the Uncreated Source of Love. Wow. It blows my mind.
Then, one of my friends posted a blog called “How Jamie Nunnally’s CD Helped Save My Marriage.” Go ahead and give it a read. In it she tells the story of how in a moment of decision one of my songs came on and helped spur her on to make the right choice. Its hard to say how that makes me feel – humbled, ecstatic, dumbfounded, overjoyed. One thing it does do, though, is make me want to write, sing and record even more. If one of my songs can bring someone happiness in a moment, then that’s awesome. But if my music can help create lasting, permanent God-change, then wow – I want to be a part of that!
After hearing these two recent compliments I was reminded that a while back I made the decision that if I thought something positive about someone I was going to go ahead and say it. Outloud. To them. While I do chicken out from time to time I know it’s God’s heart that we build each other up as often as possible. The world system is all about tearing us down – we need to be lifted up. We need to talk about people to their faces how we would talk about them if we were at their funeral. Notice that someone got a new hair cut? Just tell them! “Hey you got a new hair cut – nice!” It doesn’t have to be a big deal. The more we build each other up, the more confident we will all be to walk in the calling God has for us.
I pray that as I continue to find my way through life I will engage in every ministry opportunity set before me – whether its leading people in worship or whether its telling someone I barely know that their shirt is cool. Hopefully then when I finally see God face to face I will hear His ultimate compliment – “Well done, good and faithful servant.”