Perhaps you feel people don't need recognition for doing what they should be doing, that only those who go over and beyond a sense of duty need to be thanked. Have you read through the Pauline Epistles lately where Paul repeatedly expresses thanksgiving and appreciation for the people he served? He would write something like, "I thank my God every time I remember you" (Phil. 1:3). Thus he was acknowledging God but at the same time letting the people know he appreciated them.
Who to Affirm:Yes, you are to "respect those who work hard among you" but you are also to "encourage the timid" (1 Thess. 5:11-14). "Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor" (1 Cor. 12:22-23). Everybody can benefit from expressions of appreciation and gratitude.
Affirmation is Part of Body Life:
- We are to "consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds" (Heb. 10:24).
Isn't it possible that some of the ways we can spur people on is to let them know their contribution is valued? -- affirmation
- We are to "honor one another" (Rom. 12:10; 1 Cor. 12:22-23, 26).
Scripture uses two different Greek words for "honor" and we are to do both with one another.
- time - valuing (to respect, esteem)
- doxazo - giving opinion of (to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate)
Honoring one another then, is more than simply holding someone in high regard but it is also praising them and celebrating them.
- We are to "encourage one another" (1 Thess. 5:11).
While we should not be puffing people up in the way we applaude their efforts, we should be encouraging them in what they do in order to build them up. Expressions of gratitude and appreciation encourage people.
Affirmation Helps Prevent Abuse by Leaders:You will be less likely to abuse people with your words and actions if you truly value and appreciate them, accepting the reality that God's design is for unity to come out of diversity. People will quickly learn when expressions of appreciation are mere attempts to manipulate. Praise must be genuine and stem from a heart overflowing with the love of Christ toward those you serve.
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