by Buzz Dahlen
The power of a thank you. Recently I have seen some commercials where someone might say or do something to offend another. There is a negative reaction at first by the offended person and a pause and then the offender says, “Thank you.” All of a sudden, the attitude changes and both people seem to be happy again. The power of a thank you…
I must confess that I can not tell you what the commercial was about, and I also must confess that the commercial kind of frustrated me the first few times I viewed it. But like many commercials, they kind of grow on you after awhile.
The power of a thank you really boils down to the power of appreciation and with this month being Pastor appreciation month, I have a little better appreciation of the power of appreciation. In our country and I am sure, in many forms around the world, we have days, weeks and months when we appreciate different people in our lives. The obvious ones are mother’s day and father’s day, grandparent’s day. But we also have teacher appreciation week, secretary’s week, boss’ appreciation day, service worker’s appreciation and so on and so on. I am sure Hallmark has a card for every one of these occasions. There is a lot of power in appreciation.
I can remember, way back, when I was in my teens, I delivered newspapers. It was nice to have someone take the time to thank me for the extra effort I took to make sure their paper was where they wanted it by the time they wanted it. Sure, I was expected to get the paper delivered on time and to keep the customer satisfied, but it did something to me to hear words of appreciation. I was never disappointed when someone would give me a tip when I went around to collect, either. I know that any form of appreciation made the cold, rainy mornings a lot more bearable… I am sure we all, no matter what we do, appreciate a little appreciation. It is just nice to hear that what you do and who you are is appreciated.
I have found that there is more then just the power of appreciation, what about the power of positive communication? My mom used to tell me, if you don’t have anything nice to say to someone, don’t say anything at all. Good words to live by. Paul writes: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. That pretty much makes the point, but he goes on to say: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 4:29-5:2
There is nothing more therapeutic, after running around with the little kids at a soccer game and my feet, knees and back are feelings the pretty bad, then to have someone come up and expression their appreciation for how I treat their kids.
I appreciate being appreciated just like everyone else and so we should all heed Paul’s exhortation to build each other up. We should also consider the words of Jesus: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” Matthew 12:34-35
If you don’t have anything nice to say to someone, maybe you should take a look at your heart…