“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus The Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” – Colossians 2:6-7
As we consider Christmas and the New Year there is much to be grateful for. Obviously, we should have the greatest of appreciations for Jesus Christ personally coming to see about us and not only giving us the greatest of gifts, but paying the greatest of prices, for us individually.
But what about those that we live around every day. Those that are part of our families and those that we work with, those in our communities. What about them?
Several years ago, Dr. Nick Stinnett of the University of Nebraska conducted a group of studies called the “Family Strengths Research Project”.
Stinnett and his researchers identified six qualities that make for strong families. The first quality and one of the most important to be found in strong families was the quality of appreciation. Families that are strong are strong in part, Dr. Stinnett concludes, because family members express to each other their appreciation for what the other members “DO” and for who they “ARE”.
In a similar study another researcher looked into the effect of praise in the workplace. His study showed that the ratio of praise to criticism in the workplace needs to be four to one before employees feel that there is a balance – that there must be four times as much praise as there is criticism before they feel good about their work and about the environment they work in.
For many this is staggering information. This tells us that if we want to have an emotionally healthy family or a strong workplace or any other effective group, that we need to make sure that appreciation is an important part of the environment; and that praise and thanksgiving should be heard at least four times as often as criticism.
According to the Bible verse above, because we are authentic followers of our Lord God Jesus Christ, because we are rooted and grounded in Him, we are overflowing with gratitude. Not just for Jesus and all that He has done and continues to do for us, but we are simply overflowing with gratitude – overflowing with appreciation for those around us. It is this appreciation that flows out of our love for Jesus Christ and His love for us that causes the grace of God that abounds to us to in turn reflect from us into the lives of others.
Do we show our appreciation to our spouses, our children, our parents, our friends, our co-workers? Do we praise them at least four times as often as we criticize them? If not, stop right now and ask The Lord God Jesus Christ to help you begin to do that more and more starting today. Don’t forget that in light of our authentic relationship with Christ – “The Right Attitude Is Gratitude” – overflow in it for the glory of Jesus Christ.