Giving Thanks and Praise

Imagine how you’d feel if you helped someone out of a dire situation and they didn’t acknowledge your assistance, or even say “Thank you”. It’s not that we need to recognition, but rather we’d just like to be acknowledged and know that our help was appreciated. In my own mind I’d sarcastically be thinking, “You’re welcome!”

This got me thinking of the importance of thanking and acknowledging God for the assistance He’s given me. When I’m praying for specific requests, I need to make sure that I not only thank Him but also acknowledge what he has done. He’s been too good to me that I should fail to give him praise.

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” ~Psalms 9:1

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Acknowledge The Help You’ve Received

“If you see a turtle atop a fencepost, you know it had help getting there.” ~Unknown

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of our accomplishments. In fact, I think it’s good to celebrate our successes and achievements. What we don’t want, however, is to fail to acknowledge those who helped us along the way.

The quote at the beginning of this post serves as a reminder that any significant accomplishment or achievement we’ve had is likely due, in part, to assistance we received from others. As such, it’s important that when we experience success, we acknowledge and thank those that helped us get there.

Think about a recent success you have had. Now think of the person or people who helped you be successful. Have you thanked them for the part they played in your success? If so, nice job! If not, why not let them, know today? They’ll be grateful for your appreciation.

Don’t Miss An Opportunity

If given a choice, I think most folks would rather life be filled with only good experiences.  Who looks forward to broken relationships, health issues, and any number of unexpected bad news items?  Wouldn’t life be better without these negative experiences?   I’m not sure it would.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not eager for bad news or events to make their way into my life, or anyone else’s for that matter.  I just think that our experiences, especially our negative ones, can be some of our greatest opportunities to learn and grow… as long as we don’t miss the opportunity.

When bad things happen, we often want to ask questions like, “What did I do to deserve this?” or “Why is this happening to me?”  These questions are usually not helpful, because the answers are often respectively “Nothing” and “It just is”.

Some better questions to ask, once we get past the initial shock/pain, would be: “What does this situation make possible?” or “What do I need to learn through this experience?”  I like to express that last question in the form of a prayer:  “God, what do you want me to learn as a result of this experience?”

If I’m going to go through a negative life experience, personally, I’d like to gain something from it versus just having a bad experience.  This gain could be anything from:

  • A greater understanding of what other people are going though
  • A deeper faith
  • Increased compassion for others
  • A greater understanding of ourselves
  • A greater dependence on God
  • A million other things we can’t even think of

 

I hope that your life is heavy on the positive experiences and light on the negative ones.  However, every life will have its share of the latter.  When they come, be on the lookout for what you can learn or how you can come through it better than you were at the beginning.

 

Don’t miss the opportunity.

Enjoy It While We Have It

This week I learned that a good friend from church will be leaving the area, so I won’t have regular weekly contact with him as I have in the past. The news bummed me out a bit because I really enjoy this friend’s fun, positive personality. We’ve had some fun memories, and not seeing him will feel like something is missing. That said, I am grateful for the time and good memories I’ve had with this friend.

I’m reminded how important it is to appreciate the things we enjoy, whether it’s friends and family, activities we do, communities we belong to, or the season of life we’re in. While it often feels like these good things will last forever, they seldom do. That’s not meant to sound dark or depressing. Life is full of change, and sometimes change means something good is going away. It’s also important to remember that any good thing you currently enjoy in your life was also brought about by change.

Knowing that things change, let’s all be extra appreciative and grateful for those things we currently have that bring us joy.