“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” – Proverbs 25:11
All of us appreciate a word kindly spoken, whether it’s a simple, “I appreciate you” or a “You did a great job today.” Affirmation and recognition are key components for a well-functioning society. In short bursts, we are telling others they have value and worth. We are identifying the image of God in them.
These short words of affirmation take very little time and can be done regularly throughout the day. What takes a little more work is the longer notes which detail why someone is appreciated or exactly what it was they did a great job of.
In evening prayers one night, the mother of a child thanked God for her daughter, giving thanks and praise for God making her good and lovely and kind. After the mother finished, the father prayed a longer prayer of thanks, detailing specific ways in which his daughter was good and lovely and kind. It was going one step deeper.
When the prayer concluded, the daughter’s eyes filled with tears as she said, “Thanks, Dad. I didn’t know you noticed all of those things.”
Like everything in life, going the extra mile for someone can sometimes deeply impact his or her day, week, year, or even a lifetime. How many of us can look back on one or two people who impacted us in a special way and see that it was that deeper level of commitment that made all the difference?
This week, sit down for an hour and write (don’t type) a long letter or card of thanks and appreciation to someone, detailing the good things about that person. Make note of specific events, comments, etc., that demonstrate that you appreciate him or her for a reason. Include the fact that you see God’s goodness in them, and how.
Then, either mail or hand deliver the letter/card to that person.
Reflect on this experience. Was it hard? Easy? What made it hard or easy? Consider how God knows all the ins and outs of every person and even counts the very hairs on our heads. How can you grow in attentiveness? How can you be more intentional about sharing your appreciation of the unique attributes of others around you?
The BE LOVED challenge is about 25 simple acts of love that can change someone’s life forever.
The BE LOVED challenge is a study guide from the YouVersion Bible App. Provided by Laurie Nichols in conjunction with the Billy Graham Center. For more information, please visit: http://www.billygrahamcenter.org
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For more information about The Beloved Movement, Bible Studies, Inspirational Gifts and more go to: thebelovedmovement.com