In my life, I’ve noticed it has always been easy to give thanks for small, less-than-profound daily happenings: the simple “thank you” when a stranger holds the door open for you behind them, or the quick “thanks” to the barista who kindly takes the empty coffee cup from your table. These words of gratitude seem to roll off the tongue with little effort.
However, it can be more difficult to show genuine appreciation to those around us who help us through serious problems or who are really good at showing us we matter—that we are somebody worth loving. We often fail to recognize the full worth of those around us because we are too busy to say something, or we think they should be doing things for us (family), or we are too focused on their flaws. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, though, we could all invest some time toward appreciating those around us for the value they add to our lives. We look again to the story of the 10 lepers for help with this.
Luke 17:16 says that after the ten were healed of their leprosy, one of them came back to Jesus and “fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done.” He fell to the ground! That seems like a bit more than a simple “thank you.” But what does that mean? The man showed humility and extreme gratitude toward Jesus. Now, the Bible doesn’t give us an exact timeline, but it seems to have happened pretty quickly after the resolution of his leprosy. The man identified the profundity of the situation and acknowledged who was responsible for it, returning to show gratitude before he enjoyed the benefits.
Does this mean that we should fall to the feet of those around us? Not exactly. But we can strive to be like the leper in regards to our interactions with those around us. Who has God put around you? First, try to appreciate the small things they do for you. Make it a practice to identify what they do that makes your life easier or less stressful, and express your gratitude to them in a timely manner so that they feel appreciated.
How do you feel when you recognize those you appreciate? How do they react to your gratitude? How do YOU like it when others verbalize their appreciation of YOU?
What is preventing you from recognizing the full worth of those around you?
Follow up on your goal to show appreciation to others this week. Keep track of how you are doing on the chart from the message notes. Ask for prayer from a trusted friend if you are struggling to meet your goal.
Lord, help me to identify and acknowledge those around me who help me through life. Give me the humility and strength to express my thanks. Amen.
This post was written by Sandy Tadros. Sandy enjoys serving as a fill-in writer for the LivingItOut.
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