Let's Go Back to the Bible

What kind of compliment was that?

There is a phrase that is used fairly often to speak of compliments that are given from one person to another without being expected or solicited – called “unsolicited compliments.” The news reported recently about some women who were receiving unsolicited compliments and wanted them to stop.  Hearing the phrase made me think, “Where did we come up with that description?  If there are ‘unsolicited compliments,’ does that not imply there are also ‘solicited compliments’?”  And, “If ‘solicited compliments’ are actually solicited, then how can they genuinely be ‘compliments’?”  “Shouldn’t all compliments be ‘unsolicited’?”


Think about it long enough and your head can start spinning (or get warped like mine).  But, who really wants to receive a “solicited compliment”?  If you have to fish for one, how complimentary is that?  Solomon said, “LET another man praise you” (Prov. 27:2) – not “coerce” or “prompt it out of him.”  Earlier he said, “To seek one’s own glory is not glory” (25:27).  Compliments are fun to give (and fun to receive when they’re real).  Do you compliment?