After class last night, one of the regular attendees came up to me. He asked "Are you a teacher? I mean, a real teacher?" He was asking if that was my trade or profession. I told him that no, I did computer stuff, but at one time I'd thought about being a teacher.
He gripped my upper arm, stared me in the eyes and said "No, you ARE a teacher. You're doing a great job leading this class." As many times as I've felt inadequate to the task of teaching this class, that moment meant a lot to me. I left church last night encouraged in my spirit much more than usual.
Sometimes the simplest of encouragements can mean the world to the recipient. You do have to be extravagant or over the top in your praise, but sincerity does matter. This gentleman didn't just say "good class" or "good job tonight" as he walked past me. He took the time to stop and engage with me, to stare me in the eye, and to speak from the bottom of his heart.
When is the last time you offered someone sincere praise for a job well done?
Praise matters, and sincere praise even more so.
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)