The Lord commended one man’s act of grateful appreciation, which was recorded for all of history.
One of the lepers, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. – Luke 17:15
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In Jesus’ time, leprosy was much worse than a skin disease – those who suffered from it were considered “unclean” and thus lost their jobs, families and friends.
I’m sure all ten of the men whom Jesus healed of leprosy (Luke 17:11-19) FELT extremely grateful. Yet only one came back to Jesus and verbally thanked him. The Lord commended this man’s act of grateful appreciation, which was recorded for all of history.
Our condition before coming to know Jesus was much worse than leprosy! We were considered unclean by God (whose opinion is the only one that matters); we had lost our relationship with Him; and we were doomed to eternal suffering and punishment. To put it another way, we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1).
Yet through God’s great mercy, we have been “made alive with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5). Because of what Jesus did on the cross, our many sins have been forgiven, we are restored to right standing with God, and we will live forever in joyful fellowship with Him and His children. How much more should we thank Him every day for these and a hundred other blessings!
Giving thanks regularly is not only a command--it is good for us! Numerous studies, even by non-believers, clearly show that people who express gratitude as a way of life are more happy and emotionally healthy.
In this week’s Prayer, Care and Share Jesus guide, you’ll learn some practical things about how to show appreciation for other people.
Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
“The Power of Showing Appreciation”
In this guide, we often teach that it’s important to pray the Lord will bless people you meet or see, places you go or see and the tasks you do. This includes people whom you may have had conflict with or are in conflict with right now.
God wants you to bless people by showing appreciation to those around you, regardless of their faith, background or occupation. By doing this, you will be a great example of Christ’s love and grace, drawing people closer to Him.
Showing appreciation should always be genuine and sincere. Whenever I fly, I greet the flight attendants sincerely - thanking them for serving us in the skies today. I often approach people picking up trash at the amusement park, or directing traffic in the church parking lot, and thank them for doing a good job. In fact, I recently walked up to a total stranger outside the store, and thanked her for putting her shopping cart back in the storage area, instead of carelessly leaving it where it could damage someone else’s car.
There are many ways you can show someone you appreciate them. According to Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Languages of Appreciation,” there are five main ways to show appreciation in public or at work: 1) appreciating through words, 2) giving tangible gifts, 3) spending quality time, 4) doing acts of service, and 5) appropriate physical touch. Let’s talk about the first two for now.
Showing appreciation through words of affirmation is a blessing to almost anyone. This may include affirming good character traits, or recognizing and complimenting excellent service.
Chapman’s book points out that most people, including you, respond best to certain ways of showing appreciation. So find out, and then practice, those methods that most bless those around you.
Other methods of showing appreciation may be more tangible, such as giving small gifts such as birthday cards or thank-you notes. When you get great service at a restaurant, you may show your appreciation by leaving a generous tip.
By observing people's behavior, you can quickly learn their preferred modes of receiving appreciation. If in doubt, follow the Holy Spirit's guidance.
Pray this week:
That God will help you show people you appreciate them.
It is not enough to "feel" gratitude to Christ... you need to tell Him like the 10th leper did. Have you thanked Him recently? Tell another Christian what you are thankful for.Thank God