Billy's Blog
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December 11, 2015, 9:57 AM

Just A Little Appreciation

There are things that we think that we should never utter from our mouth. I know that I think things sometimes that would probably get me arrested for hate speech. Don't say those things. You may think them, ask for forgiveness and move on!

But what about good things that you think about people that you never say or good things that you think about doing for people that you never do?

Encouragement is a huge theme in the New Testament. The Greek root word for encourage is, parakleo, which is used 105 times in the New Testament. The word doesn't always come across as encouragment, but it also means to strengthen, to console, to comfort, and even to teach or admonish. In othe words, encouragment, can be given in many forms. Sometimes we just need someone to comfort us and help us through something, and other times we need someone to teach us how to deal with situations that come up in our lives. 

There are many great purposes and strategies for the Bible but look at one of the main ones: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

The main purpose of what was taught in the Scriptures, or the Bible, was written so that we might be encouraged and have hope. God knows that one of the reasons people lose hope is that they get discouraged. One of the reasons people get discouraged is they feel that what they are doing is not making a difference. They get to feeling this way, because no one really seems to notice or care what they do. 

A few years ago I sent a text to a group of people each Saturday night or early Sunday morning encouraging them to come to church. I did this for months and never, ever got a response from anyone. Some were irregular church attenders, so I saw them once in a while, but many never darkened the doors or even responsed to my text with a, "K", about the lamest response you can get. One week I was just discouraged about it and I didn't do it. I just said, "Forget it. No one even reads the stupid texts anyway." So that text. I finally got my first response that week, "Why didn't you text me?" 

My text messages were appreciated and noticed, but no one ever said anything until I stopped doing them. I really learned a couple of lessons on both sides of the story. 

1. I learned that more people are being impacted by my life than I thought.

This truth is also same for you. There are times when I think that what I do is just filler. It's just noise and doesn't mean any more to these people than an air conditioner does to an Eskimo.  But then...ONE person comments, ONE person thanks me, ONE person writes a nice note...that's usually all it takes. I realize that many are being blessed by my efforts but few will ever say anything. I must take the advice of the apostle Paul and not "become weary in doing good". I am being faithful to God and doing what I'm supposed to do and that's good enough. You may not receive much praise or thanks for what you do, but people would surely miss it if you stopped. 

2. I learned that I need to be more thankful for the people in my life...thankful enough to speak up.

I truly am thankful for so many people in my life that bless me, but sometimes just not enough to speak up and show it. I believe that so many people are discouraged, because people like me don't show them any appreciation. Who wants to do a ministry week after week, month after month, year after year, without so much as a pat on the back, a thank you, a nice card? There are some really tough people that just go on and never quit doing good, but that's not most of us. 

The other day I had a difficult situation with some people that to be honest just weren't very intelligent. For some reason, it really made me realize what terrific people I'm involved with here at Lancaster Christian Church. These people are smart, creative, committed, talented, sometimes ornery, but overall just a really awesome group of people to work with. I need to let them know this more. 

Sometimes the people that you take for granted the most are your family. There are so many times throughout my day that I think thankful thoughts about my wife or my kids...especially when I've dealt with a difficult family situation in someone else's life. I need to tell them this more. The old idea of, "I told you I love you once, if it changes I'll let you know", just doesn't fly with people...especially our families. 

So maybe today you just show a little appreciation for: your co-workers, your boss, your employees, your classmates, your students, your family, your church family members, your church leaders, the gal at the checkout line...just whoever you come in contact with that blesses your life. 

Believe me, a little appreciation goes a long way. 

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