by Pastor Tim Burt
A while back, my son and his family from out-of-town, were visiting Renee and I. We had taken them out to brunch. My son was wearing a watch I had given him when he graduated from college. He wanted to thank me again for it and show me he was wearing it. He then asked me where I got the watch I was wearing. I told him it was a gift and shared the story of how and why it was given to me. Here is that story.
One afternoon, my doorbell rang. There at the door was a young man whom I loved like a son. Years prior to this, he had been serving on a team in one of my large men's groups—a leadership breakfast of about 250 to 300 men. He had started a business and had asked if I would mentor him. I told him that my schedule did not allow me the time for personal mentoring but that if he stayed involved in a few areas of ministry with me, he would be able to see how I executed leadership and learn many things that would help him. Beyond that, I did manage to create a few opportunities to personally talk and help him from time to time. He wanted to be mentored in areas of biblical leadership, business, and integrity. He was always a deeply respectful, appreciative, and honoring type person.
Overtime, he became very successful in his business, and became a great husband, father, and leader. As far as I was concerned, his business was one of the best around for what they did. I had hired his company on a few occasions for work I needed done and they had always done a wonderful job.
I also recently received an email from a really good man and friend of mine. It was one of those truly special notes that was sincere, kind, and extremely encouraging. What made it even more special was that it was from a close friend.
This is truly a paradox but for reasons which I cannot explain, it seems that those that are closest to you and that you might expect to hear appreciation from, are often the ones you don’t hear from. Family and close friends are often the ones that take you for granted and the least likely to say the kind heart-felt things that reward and bless your life. My friend bucked that this morning. He blessed me. And let me say that there are great exceptions—family and friends that you do hear from and are a blessing. Thank God there are because we all need to be encouraged!
I have written this to say that there are people around you that make consistent personal sacrifices behind the scenes of your life. They do so to make your life better and to be a touch of God's love in your life. Do you know who they are? Have you thought about but not taken the time to let them know you appreciate their effort? You want to do so! You know why? Because when you do, your acknowledgement of it makes what they do greater and more valuable to you. It also encourages them that the extra sacrificial effort they make is appreciated. It strengthens them to keep being a blessing. If you don't think this is true, go read how Jesus wasn't honored or appreciated in his own home town and consequently could do no mighty miracles. Appreciation is not just for others. It strengthens your own faith and character! So go for it! Thank and appreciate someone who should be thanked and you'll be blessed!
1 Thessalonians 5:12 (Message Bible) “And now, friends, we ask you to honor those who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt