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Alleviating Appreciation Deprivation

William James, noted as the pioneer of psychology in America, once said that perhaps the greatest human need is the need to be appreciated.  Appreciation is akin to encouragement, and it helps to build strong, enduring, and healthy relationships.  God knows that we all need to be appreciated.  Note a sample of scriptures that would teach us to actively express our appreciation for each other:

- Proverbs 15:4- 'A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit."

- Proverbs 16:24- 'Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." The adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" may rhyme but it is wrong!  Words can hurt or help, heal or wound, build up or tear down, make better or make bitter.  We can use our tongues to speak words that make life sweeter and bring joy and encouragement to others, or we can use words that break the spirit and wound the soul.  James Rudy Gray, in an article entitled "Appreciation Makes a Difference" (Pulpit Helps, January 2001, p 13) notes that in our families it is possible to fail to encourage and express appreciation as we should.  He says, "Sometimes it is not overt abuse as much as it is neglecting to show appreciation.  In the end a unique kind of abuse can occur: appreciation-deprivation."  Appreciation helps to build emotionally healthy relationships in our families and in God's family, the church!

Let me encourage you to help solve the problem of appreciation-deprivation by expressing appreciation and encouragement to at least one person every day.  The following poem, entitled "One Little Rose " reminds us why this is so important:

          "I would rather have one little rose
          from the garden of a friend,
          Than to have the choicest flowers
          when my stay on earth must end. 
          I would rather have one pleasant word
          in kindness said to me
          than flattery when my heart is still 
          And life has ceased to be.
          l would rather have a loving smile
          From friends i know are true
          Than tears shed round my casket
          When this world I've bid adieu. 
          Bring me all flowers today
          Whether pink, or white, or red;
          I'd rather have one blossom now
          Than a truck load when l'm dead."

Is there someone who needs to know you appreciate them- husband, wife, child, parent, preacher, teacher, elder, friend, co-worker, brother or sister in Christ?  Help alleviate appreciation-deprivation!  Pass on some appreciation today-!

"If you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on" (Acts 13:15)!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ