Thankful Thursday

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who just did you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.” 
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Acceptance and Appreciation 101: The Power in an Attitude of Gratitude

My mother used to admonish me to “never look a gift horse in the mouth.” That was her way of reminding me to accept a gift or compliment graciously, instead of refusing the offering on the basis of my unworthiness. She would chide, “if someone thought enough of you to offer a sincere gift or compliment, simply accept it and say, ‘thank you’.”

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I have yet mastered the art of acceptance – in fact – I am still quite undone in the face of accolades or compliments as well as flustering circumstances that arise in life over which I have no control.

Acceptance is defined as, the act of taking or receiving something offered; favorable reception; approval; the act of assenting or believing.

Our Heavenly Father has lovingly bestowed gifts upon each of His children. Perhaps you have lovely eyes, a brilliant smile, or an incredible sense of humor – when someone comments on our gifts, we can learn to accept the compliment as an opportunity to glorify the Giver. The Art of Acceptance and Appreciation always increases the value of a good thing.

Think of how you felt after giving a loved one a sweater or scarf, and then noticed them wearing it frequently: doesn’t it make you feel good about giving? Doesn’t it make you want to give them another good gift? Or consider the gracious guest that you invited to your home for a special occasion of fellowship; how she made such admiration over each detail; every flower placement, each morsel of the meal – aren’t you encouraged to invite her back again next week?

On the other hand, what if your offering had been met with an attitude of entitlement, complaint that the gift was not bigger or better, questions about where the meat came from, or even an outright refusal of the gift? How would you feel about it? How likely would you be to continue giving?

Sometimes we may refuse gifts on the basis of a faulty understanding. A feigned sense of humility or underestimation of our own worth may lead us to believe that we don’t deserve good gifts, or even fear that accepting a sincere compliment would promote arrogance causing our ‘head to swell.’ But if you have ever been the giver of good gifts, then you know how offended and hurt you may feel if your gift were received with disdain, offhand disregard, or outright rejection:

Imagine how God must feel when we fail to express thanksgiving with gracious acceptance!

In addition to graciously accepting our gifts with thanksgiving, we can also learn to appreciate them. How important is it for us to give Thanks to God?

And Jesus answering said, were there not ten cleansed?  But where are the nine?  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” (Luke 17:17-18)

When we think about all the sins that could be committed that would rile God’s anger, we probably would not list being unthankful among them…but God does. Our Father doesn’t take too kindly to a spirit of ingratitude:

  •  “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the Truth in unrighteousness…because that, when they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:18, 21)
  • For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” (2 Timothy 3:2)

Instead of being like the nine Lepers who failed to give thanks, we can learn to appreciate all of our blessings. When expressing thoughts of thanksgiving we often utter phrases of gratitude like “thanks, I appreciate that.” But what does it really mean to appreciate something or someone?

Appreciate means to recognize the quality, significance, full worth, or magnitude of something; to increase the value of an asset over time.
How can we recognize and increase the value of our blessings? One of the most profound lessons that Jesus offers at the conclusion of the parable of the talents pertains to the principle of appreciation. He taught us that with appreciative thanksgiving and by the grace of God, we can take a good thing and make it better; we can take a small bit and make it into a lot (Matthew 25:29).

By the power of Appreciation:

  • Jesus fed the 5,000 with 2 loaves of bread and 5 fish – not to forget the leftovers! (Matthew 14:13-21)
  • The two-talent steward and five-talent steward pleased the Master and doubled their earnings. (Matthew 25:14-30) 
  • The Thankful Leper received a good report from the Master (Luke 17:11-19) 
Sisters, what can each of us appreciate through the Power of Thanksgiving, today?

Through the Power of Thanksgiving, we can obtain blessings from the Lord:

Salvation – (Psalm 50:23) Wisdom and Strength and Knowledge  – (Daniel 2:23) Victory – (1 Corinthians 15:57) Peace – (Philippians 4:6-7) Freedom – (1 Timothy 4:4-5) Prosperity – (2 Corinthians 9:11-12) Grace – (2 Corinthians 4:15)

Have you got a gift? Learn to accept and appreciate it! Here are seven lessons we can meditate upon this week that teach us to graciously Accept and Appreciate our gifts:

  1. Jesus taught us to accept the kind acts and offerings of others graciously as He received the anointing of the woman who offered expensive oil. (Mark 14:3-9)
  2. Barnabas taught us to accept and appreciate one another in spite of past history, and weaknesses, as he accepted Paul into the fellowship of the saints. (Acts 9:27)
  3. Paul taught us to accept God’s grace with the understanding that we need it and that the hope of eternal life by faith through the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  4. Peter learned the art of humble acceptance as Jesus washed the feet of the apostles. (John 13:8-9)
  5. David taught us to accept and appreciate God’s gifts by offering his testimony through praises and songs. (Psalm 22:22; 89:1)
  6. The grateful leper was so appreciative for the gift of healing that he couldn’t contain the good news. (Mark 1:44-45)
  7. Jesus taught us to appreciate our gifts by sharing them with others. (Matthew 10:8b)

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  1. This is very times it's very hard for me to accept compliments or accolades, but I'm still in the learning process. Thanks for sharing Sis Jackson....


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