i want to mention one word that will transform your relationships. the word is appreciation. why should we express appreciation to other people? the answer is because it raises their value. that’s what the word means. every time you appreciate your wife, your husband, your children, your family, your church, your friends, the people you work with you raise their value.
the bible says we’re supposed to do that. 1 thessalonians 5.11(niv), encourage one another and build each other up. ephesians 4.29 (nirv), say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs.
what are their needs? the deepest need in human beings according to william james is their need to be appreciated. i think there are many other needs but that is one of the deepest. the need to be appreciated. i read about a place in england where they have “dial a compliment”. if you’re down, you dial that, and somebody on the phone will talk with you and build you up. people are hungry, they’re starving for appreciation.
so what do you need to appreciate in people around you? for one, we need to appreciate people’s loyalty
those people who hang in there with you, when they’ve stuck with you, when they’ve been faithful through thick and thin, when they could have walked out on you but they’ve stayed. you can count on them. paul appreciated this in the philippians. philippians 1.3-5, 7 (nlt), every time i think of you, i give thanks to my GOD… because you have been my partners in spreading the good news about CHRIST from the time you first heard it until now… both when i was in prison and when i was out. these people were paul’s booster club, they supported him, they stood with him for years. now he’s at the end of his life and he’s in prison and they’re rooting for him, cheering him, saying “go for it paul!”
the point is, behind-the-scenes people deserve your appreciation. they may not be spectacular, they may not be the superstars, they may not do anything really out of the ordinary, but if they just stick with you, you need to appreciate that. some of you have had a marriage partner who has stuck with you through a lot of junk. maybe a bankruptcy, maybe a mid-life crisis, maybe a health problem, maybe you've stumbled and had an affair, maybe you were just being a jerk but they were quietly supportive. and you need to appreciate their loyalty.
just a thought from the front porch…