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“A NOTE OF APPRECIATION” – Mar. 15

March 15, 2013

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;…” Psalm 92:1

My son recently had the opportunity to attend a 4-H, “Know Your Government” event at our state capital.  It was a multi-day event of meeting state representatives, judges and people of political importance.  They got to role play from the actual seats where real decisions are made.  However, I think the biggest draw was the food and the hotel room.  Our son’s stay was his first without his doting parents.  His parents were assuaged by the fact that the adult chaperones were individuals who we know and trust.  That helped considerably in relinquishing our son for his first independent out-of-town adventure.

He had a wonderful time.  We think that it was a great education experience for him; time will tell on that one.  We know that it was an important step in maturing into a responsible young man.  It was important for me as a parent.  That makes us very grateful to those who were instrumental in allowing our son to experience such an event.  We are particularly grateful to the chaperones.  They took time away from their work and families.  They had to pay for their own hotel rooms.  They had to put-up with the drama and silliness that is teenagers.  This event was a significant intrusion into their lives.  Yet, they volunteered and as a result my son benefited from a great experience.

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto o...

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; added by those for whom prayer or miracles were granted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an expression of our gratitude, my wife encouraged, forcefully motivated, forced our son to write a Thank You note of appreciation and send it to  them.

I was surprised by what we later discovered.  My son’s note was the first note of gratitude that the chaperone had received in four years of volunteering.  He was appreciative of the appreciation.

How bad is that?

universal thank you noteThe definition of grateful is an appreciation of the benefits received. 

When we say thank you, we are communicating that we believe that we have received a benefit and that we value that benefit.  We do not feel appreciation for something that we don’t value.  I would not feel a lot of appreciation if a person were to give me a single penny.  However, I would feel a lot of appreciation if someone were to give me 100,000 pennies.  My appreciation will be more because I value 100,000 pennies more.

In addition, I would not be appreciative in the same way if the 100,000 pennies are given to my friend.  I have not received the benefit of the gift.  The gift is not mine.  We are benefiting from a variety of work that is seen and unseen.  Gratefulness comes only for those aspects where we acknowledge and recognize the benefits.

Consider the message that we communicate when we are not grateful.

We either:

Don’t value what someone has done for us

or

We don’t believe what they have done for us has a benefit.

Discouragement is the enemy of all who give themselves to the service of others.  These folks, typically, don’t put in the time and effort to receive the accolades or praise. However, the question of, “is it worth it?” will inevitably aside.

“Is it worth it?” is asked in a probing search to discover whether people are actually benefiting from all of their efforts.  The reason the question comes up is because they are often working in a vacuum.  The problem is that grateful people are not communicating to them how they have been helped by their service.

“Is it worth it”? is asked when there is a sense that all their efforts are not valued.  Those who serve others have made an exchange.  They have given something of value to them, their time, energy and often money, in an effort to create something of value for another person. It is when that effort is disregarded, tossed aside, taken for granted, or unfairly compared, that the discouragement of “is it worth it?” sneaks in.  The problem is that Grateful people are not communicating to them how much they value what is being given to them.

Are you a grateful person?  You cannot be a grateful person without other people knowing how you feel.  There is no such thing as private gratitude or stealth appreciation.

When was the last time you sent a thank you card?

When was the last time you told your spouse, parent, sibling, friend, Pastor, teacher, mentor, coworker, how much you appreciate them?

When was the last time you sent a small gift acknowledging someone’s special effort?

When was the last time  you told someone how much they have helped you?

These are some of the actions that define whether you are a grateful or ungrateful person.

When was the last time you thanked God?

God sent his only Son to remove our condemnation.  We have benefited from His sacrifice.

God has adopted us as his children; children of God, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.  We have been given a gift of incomparable value.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord…” (Psalm 92:1)  It is good to be grateful to the Lord because that expression is an acknowledgement that we understand that we have benefited from His gift of tremendous value.  The attitude of the one who has experienced the Lord’s amazing grace can be only that of appreciation – gratitude.

May we be known for our gratitude to those who the Lord has placed in our lives to help us and most importantly to the Lord Most High for saving us!

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for saving me.  Thank you for placing people in my life to help me.  Thank you for my wife and family.  Thank you for my friends.  Thank you for all that you have given me.  Thank you for the air that I breathe, the rain that falls, the earth beneath my feet, and all of the other miracles of this world that makes my life possible.  Father, I want others to know the amount of gratefulness that is within me for You and them.  Help me to pause on a regular basis and communicate my gratefulness.  Amen

9 comments

  1. That was awesome!


  2. Appreciation will also do something for the person who gives it. Giving thanks and appreciation will bring him/her closer the subject of their appreciation. Be it another person or… God.


  3. Some years ago my husband drove a bus to take some of our school students into the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. We had a great day and a good trip; but on the way home on a fourlane highway, a truck traveling in the oppposite lane lost a tire. It came flying across the highway right in front of us. luckily we missed it. God’s providence I’m sure. The children were told to write my husband thank you notes for driving for their field trip. Most of the notes were thanking him and telling him how much they enjoyed seeing the truck lose its tire:)


  4. Thanks JD, and along with Paul I say, thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.


  5. Thank YOU for the reminder of how important gratitude is. Verbalizing appreciation is nice, but putting it in writing is even better. You’ve inspired me to be more intentional in my gratitude. I would love to set the goal of one thank you note each day. Probably too ambitious. But one a week? That should be manageable. According to ADD above, the recipients won’t be the only ones receiving a blessing!


  6. Isn’t that the truth!!! 🙂 I totally agree that we, as a whole, need to learn to be a more appreciative people toward God and man.


  7. Poignant. Expressing gratitude defining gratitude. Never thought of it that way. Thank you!


  8. Gratitude is the root to happiness, thank you for your reminder. Have a blessed day!


  9. Thank you 🙂



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