I live in the Northwest. When we see the golden and red leaves, falling from the trees we know the Thanksgiving holiday is near. Thanksgiving is a special time for families to get together, enjoy each other and the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It is a good time to think about the many blessings we have experienced during the past year. At our house, we have a traditional candle lighting activity as we go around the table sharing about our special blessings for which we are thankful during the past year. It is good way for the younger children to participate and to hear what the adults have experienced and for what they are thankful.
Our grandchildren are growing up in a self-absorbed culture where they think mostly of themselves and focus on all the things others do for them. When appreciation is lacking, people feel their efforts are ignored and feel themselves are not valued for who they are.
“Appreciation is grateful recognition of the value, quality, or significance of a gift, deed, or person. It is the expression of gratitude. It is acknowledging the value of someone or something, and then expressing thankfulness for it. It can include praising someone for something they have done. Other words for appreciation are acknowledgement, recognition, and thankfulness.” ¹
God’s love for us shows how much He values us in sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins so we could have a relationship with Him. In return, we should respond with praise, thankfulness, and appreciation to Him for His sacrifice.
If we think we are the center of the universe, and everything revolves around us, then it is unlikely we will express much gratitude to God. On the other hand, if we acknowledge the Him as the awesome creator of the universe, the all-powerful One, then this recognition of His great value will stimulate appreciation. When we realize that the Lord loves us and values us, our hearts should overflow in praise to Him.
Appreciation is of great importance in our relationships with others. People need acknowledgment that they and the things they do are valued. It gives others positive feedback affirming their worthy performance and encourages more of it. It is important not only because people need to receive it, but because then a person’s heart is full of gratitude, they need to give it because the giver and receiver are both blessed.
When appreciation grows, people feel valued and friendships grow warmer. Appreciation brings a harvest of good feelings and blessings to any relationship and to any environment.
During this Thanksgiving season, give thanks to God for His faithfulness to you and the children and grandchildren He has given you. Send a note or a Thanksgiving card to express your appreciation to your loved ones for what they mean to you.
Let’s be an example to our grandchildren and encourage them to express their appreciation to others to experience the blessings of giving and receiving appreciation.
Dear Father, help me to be sensitive to those need to express appreciation, especially my family members. Help me to be an encourager by recognizing the character qualities and achievements of others. In Jesus' name. Amen
¹ Used by permission, 12 Seeds, Norm Andersen; Minneapolis, Mn., p 33.
©2010 Lillian Penner
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