Value of Appreciation
We are going to emphasize one word that will increase the value of
our relationships that word is appreciation. Why should we
truly appreciate other people and express that appreciation to them?
The answer is that it raises their value. That's what appreciation
means. In the last several days I talked with a man who bought a
house and five acres in 1979. He paid $29,900. for it and recently
advertised it for $149,900. And he was getting all kinds of calls
from people who wanted to buy it. His house had appreciated in value
over time. The same thing ought to happen in our relationships. As
we truly grow in our appreciation of others and express that
appreciation, they grow in value and the value of our relationship
We ought to constantly be thinking of ways to
express our appreciation to our
wife/husband…parents…children…friends…co-workers and fellow
believers. As we do we raise their value. The Bible teaches we are
supposed to do that: "Therefore comfort each other and edify
one another, just as you also are doing." 1st
"Let no corrupt (rotten) word
proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary
edification (building up), that it may impart grace (increase the value) to the
who hearers." Ephesians 4:29
What is the deepest human need According to
William James, one of history's most respected psychologists, their
deepest need is to be appreciated. People have many deep needs, but
whether you totally agree with William James, you will have to admit
that one of the deepest needs all of us have is to be appreciated.
What Should We Appreciate
We are going to look at three areas where the
apostle Paul expressed his appreciation. Each of these areas is
exceedingly important and yet they are areas we often overlook.
We Should Appreciate Loyalty
We should appreciate people who have stuck with
us through thick and thin, good times and bad. They could have
walked out, but they hung in there. This is what the Christians at
Philippi had done with Paul over the years. When he was at Philippi
he was arrested, publicly beaten and thrown into maximum security.
The Philippian Christians stayed loyal. Paul went to Thessalonica
and was run out of town. The Christians at Philippi stayed loyal.
Paul was mobbed in Jerusalem; kept in prison for two years at
Caesarea-Philippi and was now a prisoner in Rome. The Philippian
Christians remained loyal. They sent words of loving encouragement
to Paul over the years, and also regularly sent financial and
material support. And so Paul writes: "I thank my God upon
remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making
request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from
the first day until now...Just as it is right for me to think this
of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my
chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you
all are partakers of grace with me. For God is my witness, how
long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:3-5, 7, 8.
These people were Paul's Booster Club. And now,
as he nears the end of his life in prison they're still rooting for
him and cheering him on saying, "Hang in there Paul." …And Paul
expressed his heartfelt appreciation.
Likewise, we ought to deeply appreciate those who
have been loyal to us down through the years and express that
appreciation. It may be a marriage partner who has stuck with you
through some tough times…a bankruptcy…a health problem…a mid-life
crisis or maybe just being a jerk. When others were walking out they
hung in there. We need to appreciate people's loyalty.
We Should Appreciate Differences
Paul wrote the Christians at Colosse, "Bearing
with one other and forgiving one another, if anyone has a
complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also
It is an evidence of God's unique humor that He
created us humans to be attracted to those who have an opposite
personality to us. The odds are very high that among the married
couples present one of you is by nature an early riser and the
other doesn't even believe in God before 11 a.m. One is impulsive
and does things on the spur of the moment and the other is
cautious and reserved; one loves to talk…and talk, and the other
is a person of few words. One loves to spend money and the mate is
a penny pincher; one is a romantic and the other always has more
important things to do.
The personality differences aren't all bad if
there are enough like interests that you enjoy together. I
personally enjoy my wife's effervescence and spontaneity. If she
had a personality like mine it would be a most boring marriage. In
turn, she appreciates the stability and strength I contribute to
These personality differences plus individual
preferences will be found in all relationships. They are not
necessarily bad. They are more often just different. The
problem is that we often let these differences irritate us to the
point that we have very negative reactions that tear down the
relationship instead of building it up. The scriptures encourage
us to appreciate the good things these differences bring and be
forgiving of the irritations. One of the good effects is that
these differences add balance to a relationship and keep all of us
from going off on wild tangents.
Here's another reason for appreciating one
another's differences. Social scientists have discovered that to
keep a relationship wholesome there has to be five positive
interactions for every one negative interaction. When we have
differences we need to maintain that ratio or our relationship is
deteriorating. If we have a higher ratio of positive interactions
we are increasing the value of the relationship. Let me encourage
you to resolve today to begin appreciating the differences in
people around you.
We Should Appreciate
To the Christians at Thessalonica Paul wrote, "We
give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in
our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor
of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…" 1st
Thessalonians 1:2, 3.
Notice that Paul was expressing appreciation for
their work and labor. He did not mention any of the results that
their work and labor accomplished. We, too, should express sincere
appreciation for people's efforts regardless of the result.
I have marveled at the ability of some mothers to
do this. They have accepted the offer of their pre-school children
to be mother’s little helpers. They get wood polish on the windows
and Windex on the wood; they vacuum the drapes and the doilies
instead of the floor; they break dishes, and I can’t bear to mention
what they can do with paint and a brush. But, mom hugs them and
praises them for trying to help out. I don’t know what the kids
learn about working around the home, but these moms are building a
On the other hand some of us don’t do too good.
Remind me to tell you when my boys were young and I was trying to
teach them to mow grass with a riding tractor.
Too often we think people’s efforts should
produce results that are perfect before we express appreciation.
None of us turn out perfect results when we first start to do
anything, but when sincere appreciation is expressed for our efforts
we work hard until the results get better.
How Should We Show Appreciation
It Needs To Be Real
Paul wrote, "Now the
purpose of the commandment
is love from a pure heart…" 1st Timothy 1:5. When
we express appreciation we should strive to be genuine. We should
avoid being hypocritical or trying to flatter or have an ulterior
motive. One person said that a lot of people who patted him on the
back wanted him to cough up something. Our appreciation needs to
Appreciation Needs To Be Understandable
We need to be clear and specific in expressing
our appreciation. "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth
And a word spoken in due season, how good it is! " Proverbs 15:23.
America is rampant with men who have the
attitude, "I don’t need to tell my wife I love her. She knows I do."
No, she needs you to tell her clearly and enforce it with hugs and
kisses. You say, "I’m not the affectionate type." Then take it from
me, Change! I grew up in Texas where real macho men were the strong,
silent type. I didn’t know how to express my affections. I learned
how from my wife and it’s been one of the most valuable lessons I’ve
Most of us need to work on expressing our
appreciation clearly. Pastor Rick Warren tells how much he
appreciates the kind words of his people after the Sunday morning
service. After being mentally and emotionally drained it gives him a
real boost. On one Sunday he preached an especially enthusiastic
message and a young fellow said, "Pastor Rick, you were really full
of it today!" He spent the rest of the day wondering what this kid
thought he was full of.
It Needs to Be Often
"We are bound to
thank God always for you brethren, as it is fitting…" 2nd Thessalonians
1:3a. You may have heard people say, "Give me flowers while I’m
alive and can still smell them." When we give thanks for people it
will motivate us to express our appreciation to them. This not only
does great things for them. It also does great things for us. Social
scientists have discovered that people with the attitude of
gratitude are the most emotionally healthy people. They are happier
and live longer. The more often we express appreciation the more we
increase the value of our relationships.
I ask you to spend time thinking about people you
can tell this week how you appreciate them…family, friends,
co-workers, fellow-believers. I also ask you to think about the
things you can tell your God what you appreciate about Him. If you
are not saved, I encourage you to accept the gift of salvation God
has been extending to you every day.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.