Gratitude expressed from the heart produces joy and attracts more blessings.
Text: Luke 17:11-19, Mark 14:3-9
Our Lord Jesus Christ commended the only man who came back to give thanks to Him for cleansing him of leprosy out of the ten that were healed of the same ailment. According to Matthew Henry’s commentary “The rest were made whole by the power of Christ, in compassion to their distress, and in answer to their prayer: but he was made whole by his faith, by which Christ saw him distinguished from the rest. …Temporal mercies are then doubled and sweetened to us when they are ferried in by the prayers of faith, and returned by the praise of faith”.
We are today living in a world where many humans are very selfish and self-centered. It is a part of the signs of the end time to fail to appreciate the good done to us for any reason.
The fact remains that Christ as our example appreciated Peter for allowing Him the use of his boat to preach, by making him to catch “a great multitude of fishes” after an earlier fruitless effort. Part of the Lord’s reasons for this could be to teach the lesson of appreciation as well as compensate them for their sacrifice of love to Him. A local adage has it that “if appreciation is given to the worker, his cutlass becomes sharper”. Others have it that “if thanks are given to a person for freely offering part of his chicken for food, he is encouraged and would be most desirous to share out of his goat-meat at his nearest opportune time”.
Appreciation has the positive power to effect goodness by way of influencing the giver to do more. In other words, appreciation empowers the benefactor to be more helpful and enables the beneficiary to be better enriched. It should be pointed out also that the benefactor also receives from God for his giving in the final analysis.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand the power of appreciation
- To know what it means to appreciate
- To know why we should appreciate
- To show the consequences of not appreciating
- To understand the benefits of appreciation
Q1. WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY “POWER OF APPRECIATION”?
By power we mean energy of strength, opportunity, capability, potency, influence, or ability of the body or mind to act or do something. Appreciation means to express or show happiness, thankfulness, or gratitude with the words of our mouth, gesture, favorable reaction or parting with our material substance, belonging etc. to somebody or authority who did us good, or favor or extended grace and forgiveness to us.
Power of appreciation therefore, is the capability of our expression, out of a heart full of gratitude to induce, or cause, produce or generate more atmosphere for future benefits as a result of the previous done to us. Thus, power of appreciation does not only make both parties to be happy but invokes more love between them. It is that zeal to do more good to someone who expresses satisfaction over our help or goodness to him.
Q2. WHO SHOULD SHOW APPRECIATION AND TO WHOM?
Gratitude should be expressed from our hearts to all persons whether older or younger and or any authority or body who has done us good. Even if such good-deed is our perceived right, we could generate a more cordial atmosphere for godliness and show of love if we learn to say thank you or appreciate in a godly way.
If believers could see the need to appreciate man, they should equally learn to give God thanks always for all His uncountable blessings. The Bible says blessed be the Lord who daily load us benefits (Psalm 68:19). Also Psalm 103:1-5 “Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who health all thy diseases. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth they mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles.”
No wonder in recognition of the power of appreciation, modern business managers now motivate their subordinates with numerous incentives when they put up their best. It makes the best continue to flow out.
Q3. FOR WHAT REASONS SHOULD WE SHOW APPRECIATION TO GOD?
Psalm 50:11-14, 100:1-5, 103:1-2, 107:1-2, John 3:16, Romans 3:23
The Bible is full of the goodness, deeds, miracles, blessings, provision, and divine intervention of God to man for which we are bound to always appreciate Him. Among these are the following:
God created and owns everything. Genesis 1:1, Psalm 50:11-14
He owns us and made us for His purpose. Psalm 100:1-3
The numerous benefits and blessings He freely gives us. Psalms 103:1-5
For His deliverance and salvation. Psalm 107:1-2, Proverbs 6:23, John 3:16, Ephesians 6:12
His goodness, preservation, and provision. Deuteronomy 6:24, Philippians 4:19, Isaiah 54:17, Psalm 91:1
Divine health and healings. Exodus 15:26, Isaiah 53:5
Children (fruit of the womb) and safety in child birth. Isaiah 66:9, Psalm 113:9, 1 Timothy 2:15
Heavenly blessings. Ephesians 1:3
Divine favor and mercies. Exodus 1:19, Lamentations 3:22
For anything of our choice, we ask from Him. Mark 11:24, Matthew 11:28
Q4. EXAMPLE OF PEOPLE WHO SHOWED APPRECIATION AND THE EFFECT. 2 Samuel 9:1-17, Luke 17:17-19, John 12:18, 2 Chronicles 7:4-18, 1 King 3:4-6, Mark 4:8-9
Very many people showed appreciation in diverse ways in Bible days and experienced some positive effects. Noah offered sacrifices to God to appreciate Him for saving him and his household from the flood and God blessed him further (Genesis 8:20, 9:3).
David showed God appreciation. The one-time leprous man in our text did and got more blessings. Mary did for her deliverance from demons and is ever remembered for her gesture of giving to Christ and her perfume. King Solomon and the Israelites appreciated God during the dedication of the temple and enjoyed the privilege of the promise of answers to the prayers made in that temple. Elijah in appreciation of what the Shunamite woman did for him, prayed for her to have a child and God answered his prayer (2 Kings 4:8-17).
Q5. HOW SHOULD WE SHOW APPRECIATION TO GOD?
As believers, of today under grace, we are bound to give God appreciation always. The scripture tells us that we are bound to give thanks to God always (2 Thessalonians 1:3). Necessity therefore is laid on us to live a life of appreciation to the Father in all we do at all times. Such a life of appreciation can be expressed in many ways such as:
Singing His praises with our lips from our joyful hearts for His inexpressible goodness towards us daily. Psalm 107:21-22, Hebrews 13:15, Psalm 95:1-2.
Parting with our material goods as sacrifice for propagating His name. Isaiah 43:22-24, 2 Samuel 24:24
Being done as persuaded purely with a willing heart and not under compulsion by man. 1 Corinthians 8:11-12
Being done cheerfully with a sign of satisfaction. 2 Corinthians 9:7
A substance that is valuable and acceptable unto God. Malachi 1:6-9, Luke 6:33, 2 Corinthians 9:6
Daily Living Application:
Anyone who does not give appreciation for good done to him is an ingrate. God expects us to show *appreciation to Him for the numerous good He does for us regularly; our lives are replete with the blessings from God daily. Believers should always appreciate God for both the visible and especially unseen spiritual battles He fights for us as well as all He prevents us from suffering.
Appreciation gives us room to reap more because it is a way of sowing. God always multiplies our giving of all kinds to Him and returns back to us in a bigger measure than we give. Since we always gain more from God, anyone who fails to appreciate God is directly making himself lose out on God’s blessings.
Believers must always endeavor to appreciate God with their best (Malachi 1:8-14). When we appreciate God, we are also laying up treasures for ourselves in heaven. The rate of our giving reflects the level of our understanding of the Almighty loving God. We should therefore, always appreciate both God and man at every available opportunity.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits”.