Appreciation is having admiration for others and communicating your approval to them! It is taking the time to make people feel welcome and special by using the fruit of God's work in you to encourage and uplift others. It is a form of valuing others; this takes the focus off you and places it on God's purpose and direction. It is fueled from our heartfelt thanks to God for what we have, for what He has done, and is a lifestyle of worship and adoration. This allows us to give to, and value others with respect and honor (Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 5: 12-18; 1 Tim. 5:17; 6:1; 1 Pet. 2:17; Heb. 12:28-29).
Insensitivity, Disrespect, Callousness, and Disapproval are the opposites. Pride will not allow you to be appreciative of others, because all you will think of is yourself. You will not be concerned with how others have contributed or supported, or their value and significance. It is thinking I achieved something totally on my own, when it was actually God, along with others working in and with you. Pride causes hurt to others, cuts off relationships and growth, and points only to self, and elevating you to a position to which you are neither called nor worthy. It distracts others from true Christianity and service to our Lord.
Appreciation differs from gratitude because gratitude is a response for what someone has done for us-such as, God's grace. A gift is given, and we say "thank you" in word and deed. Appreciation is honoring others while also being grateful for what we have. It is being thankful and glad for other people, friends, family, and co-workers. This character will enable us to see the right time and place to give a kind word, and when someone is at a critical stage and needs a friend. The world is full of discouraging people who live to put others down; very few people live to build others up. We are too preoccupied with ourselves and our circumstances to see and value others. However, these Scriptures point out how valuable it is to God that we do take the time to honor others. That kind word at the right time can lead a person out of a depression, out of a bad thinking situation, even out of suicide. Your kind gestures set a tone for healthy relationships and point others to Christ.
Appreciation is needed more than personal dignity. We are culturally consumed with gaining respect for ourselves, while God is more interested in how we treat others. We are not to focus on personal dignity as David's wife Michael did; rather, we are to focus on honoring God so we can also honor others, as David did. It is seeing others as worthy, as teammates in life, and as co-laborers in the Lord. The application of Appreciation is what is called "brotherhood." This is purposefully expressing love to others. It goes against our sinful nature that only desires to seek its own. Because we fear God (Prov. 3:5) we can let the Spirit hone us to His precepts even when they go against culture and what our friends are doing. It may not be cool to say "thank you," but we are called to say it anyway, and say it with genuine sincerity. First, Timothy teaches that we blaspheme God when we do not honor one another. Did you realize that? It may seem trivial to give Appreciation, but to God, it is very significant and can be the quintessential way God uses us to lead another person to Christ. What we do is more important than what we say!
How can we be appreciative people? We can do so by voicing sincere compliments, taking the time to write a note, celebrating victories, and honestly showing our delight so others feel special. As a Christian, you have the Creator and King of the universe indwelling in you. His delight for you is secure, thus you are called to shine His Light so others may feel the light of delight. You are called to care so they can see the hope of the Eternal God. Appreciation also helps us realize what we have, and to be grateful for the relationships, opportunities, and blessings He gives. Appreciation helps us accept the difficulties and trials of life as part of God's loving provision and care that leads to our learning and growth for a greater good and maturity (James 1:2-8). We need to know what success really is, and that it is not determined by what we do or what we have. Rather, it is determined by how we follow God's precepts and interact with others using them.
Appreciation is essential for showing God' love and it is proof of His Fruit coming from you! Let us allow our value of others to appreciate in depth and quality!
Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this character and fruit of Appreciation from God's most precious Word, by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
- How do I exhibit Appreciation in my daily life?
- What can I do to develop a better willingness to show Appreciation toward others?
- What blocks Appreciation from working and being exhibited in me?
- How can I make Appreciation function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress?
· Here are positive examples from Scripture: 1 Chron. 29:6-9; The Book of Ruth; Acts 9; Luke 17:12-20; Rom. 9:30-10:4; Eph. 3:7-13.
· Here are negative examples from Scripture: Gen. 25:29-34; 2 Sam. 6:16; 19:5-7; Esther 6; Jer. 18:18-20; Luke 17:12-20.
1. How would you define Appreciation? Are you a person who naturally lets people know they are worthy? If so, what happens when others are not appreciative of you?
2. What part does Appreciation play in your relationships with church members, friends, coworkers, and family? Have you thanked people you know or with whom you work by your words as well as your personal example?
3. How does being Insensitive counteract Appreciation? What is the cost to others (God, family, friends, neighbors, church family, co-workers, etc.) when you are a person who is focused on Pride?
4. What happens to your relationship with God, with others, and with the opportunities God gives you when you neglect to be thankful and appreciative?
5. When have you been filled with Appreciation the most?
6. In what situation did you fail to thank someone when you should have?
7. Read Esther, chapter six. What issue is in your life that would improve with more Appreciation?
8. Think through the steps you need to take to put Appreciation into action in a specific instance. Such as, where is Appreciation not functioning properly in your attitudes with friends, church folks, family, and co-workers, and what can you do about it? How many people can you think of whom you have helped or who have helped you in the last few months? How many did you actually thank? What are you going to do about it now? How can you be more sensitive to others so you can be better at letting them know they are worthy and appreciated?