The other week I shared a blog entitled “Depreciating Others.” Just like a house can depreciate, we can devalue people. When you think about it, almost every interaction we have with another person leaves us feeling either appreciated or less significant. We all want to be appreciated and that begins with us appreciating others.
When I reflect about those who have appreciated others, there are at least four things they will always do. Here they are:
- Appreciators listen. Over talkers are stuck on themselves. They think their value is increased by sharing their achievements. People who care slow down and listen. They do more than hear, they interact and give appropriate feedback. The Bible says that everyone should be “quick to listen and slow to speak” (James 1:19). Every time you truly listen to someone, you show appreciation.
- Appreciators thank. Many have lost the art of saying thanks. Someone said the two most powerful words in the English language are “Thank” and “you.” It’s easier than ever to say thank you these days—a quick email, a short text. Saint Paul gives us a great example of this. His letters were filled with thanks and appreciation. When he wrote the believers in Philippi he said, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…” (Philippians 1:3-5). Gratitude always shows you value another person.
- Appreciators help. Appreciation shows up in what we do. Scripture commands us to “not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” (1 John 3:18). Even the smallest act of kindness shows appreciation.
- Appreciators encourage. Nothing devalues a person like feeling their efforts go unnoticed. We appreciate others by recognizing who they are and what they do. In Acts 20:2, the Message paraphrase says that the Apostle Paul “gave constant encouragement, lifting their spirits and charging them with fresh hope.” Those people felt valued! All of us, no matter what our age or status, need that. Opportunities to affirm others happen all the time, we just need to look for those chances to encourage others.
BEFORE YOU GO…
Was there a time you felt appreciated? How can we use that to encourage others?