The Abundant Life: Riches money can’t buy…
Those living the abundant life know how to acknowledge and appreciate others.
Those who focus only on work and not relationships can easily become disconnected from those who are most important to them. It starts by not prioritizing a relationship with God, then segues into other parts of our lives. Loved ones and special friends are neglected. The kindness of others is overlooked. Words like “thank you” or “I’m sorry” are almost like foreign concepts. It becomes easy to forget about smiling at others or even acknowledging their existence.
Acknowledge means taking the time to let others know you see them. They exist. They matter. People like to be acknowledged. They want to feel their existence makes a difference in the lives of others—even casual acquaintances. People like to be appreciated and feel like their efforts have been noticed.
The apostle Paul set a great example of being appreciative and acknowledging others. In a letter to the Romans, Paul takes the time to openly thank those who held a special place in his heart. He spends the whole last chapter acknowledging others so they would know their lives made a difference. (Romans 16:1-16) This is not just a list of names. Paul took the time to mention why these people were special to him.
Phoebe had been a help to many people including Him. Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for him. Andronicus and Junia were in prison with him. Not only was he appreciative of what they had done for him, but for what they had done for the church.
Epaenetus, Urband, Stachys, Apelles, and many others mentioned were fellow workers approved by Christ. And Paul was not above giving praise to women during an historical time when women were more to be seen than heard. Mary, Persius, Tryphena, Tryphosa, and so on—all worked hard for the Lord.
I’m sure each one Paul mentioned felt appreciated. These were not idle words of false praise, but rather heart-felt recognitions that made people feel accepted and valued. Such acknowledgements bear good fruit.
People don’t want to be overlooked. Just a smile, a cheerful greeting, a word of thanks, or eye contact shows respect. These simple acknowledgements can lift spirits. Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel.”
God acknowledges us. We matter to Him. While we were sinners He died for us. (Romans 5:8) He wants each of us to feel valued and appreciated. God admonishes us to do the same for others. (1 Thessalonians 5:12)
Those living the abundant life value others. They appreciate not only loved ones, but bosses, co-workers, and acquaintances. They realize that everyone they meet is a child of God.
“…I have come that they may have life and that they
may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10 (KJV)