Each of us has probably, at some time or another, felt the effects of appreciation in our lives. Appreciation generates a good feeling of self-worth and creates a human connection to others that encourages us to build more collaborative relationships.
As spiritual leaders in the church, we must remember how important it is to give appreciation, especially to those who are working with us as fellow volunteers. Appreciation enhances self-esteem for both the giver and the receiver and creates a human connection.
In his book The Success Principles, Jack Canfield says, “A state of appreciation is one of the highest vibrational emotional states possible.” Sadly, while appreciation is a wonderful thing to receive, how often do we give it back to others and practice it ourselves?
Appreciation is having admiration for others and communicating your approval to them. It is taking time to make people feel welcome and special. It is a form of valuing others; it takes the focus off of you and places it on God’s purpose and direction. It is fueled from our heartfelt thanks to God for what we have and for what He has done, and it is a lifestyle of worship and adoration. This allows us to give to and value others with respect and honor (Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 5:12-18; 1 Tim. 5:17; 6:1; 1 Pet. 2:17).
Appreciation is honoring others while also being grateful for what we have. It is being thankful and glad for other people—friends, family, and co-workers. The world is full of people who live to discourage others; very few people live to build others up. However, these Scriptures point out how valuable it is to God that we take the time to honor others.
How can we be more appreciative leaders in our church? We can do so by voicing sincere compliments, taking the time to write a thank-you note, celebrating victories, and honestly showing our delight so that others feel special.
Showing appreciation also helps us to realize what we have and to be grateful for the relationships, opportunities, and blessings God gives us. Appreciation helps us accept that the difficulties and trials of life are part of God’s loving provision and care that leads to our learning and growth for a greater good and maturity (James 1:2-8).
As a spiritual leader, you can set an example for others by expressing your own appreciation. People thrive when they are valued. Take time to show and tell those who are working with you in the church that you value the contribution they make to the church.
Appreciation is essential for showing God’s love, and it is proof of His blessings flowing through you! May we value human dignity so we can appreciate others.